Detectives work on keeping senior citizens safe from scams

, Written by Christine Pitawanich, Posted: Thu, August 7 2014 at 5:24 PM, Updated: Thu, August 7 2014 at 6:38 PM

Medford, Ore. -- It's a busy time for detectives at the Medford Police Department as they work to keep senior citizens from becoming victims of fraud.

Recently Sergeant Brent Mak with the Medford Police Department sent out a letter addressed to senior citizens in Jackson County. The letter is a warning about scams.

According to police, they investigate many elder abuse cases where seniors are taken advantage of financially, through e-mail or over the phone.

Just a week ago, someone was calling people in Jackson County pretending to be law enforcement and asking for money on a pre-paid Visa gift card.

Police said before, scammers used to ask for money via Western Union transfers, now they're mostly asking for pre-paid gift cards. Mak said t's something government agencies and legitimate businesses don't do.

"I guarantee you it happens every single day at least one person a day in the City of Medford or Jackson County. At least one senior a day is falling for these scams," said Sgt. Mak.

Mak said the best way to protect yourself if you get a call from a number you don't know, is to let it go to voicemail.

Mak said he has dropped off these letters to Western Union locations, banks, and retirement communities.

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About the Author

Christine Pitawanich

Christine Pitawanich was born and raised in the Pacific Northwest. In 2010, she received a master's degree in Broadcast Journalism from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University in New York.

Christine also has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications from the University of Washington.

Before joining the NBC5 News team, she had the opportunity to file reports from Washington D.C. for WFFT FOX Ft. Wayne News in Indiana. Christine has also interned at KOMO-TV in Seattle.

Christine loves to ski, try new food and have fun in the outdoors.

Catch Christine anchoring weekdays on NBC 5 News at 5pm.

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