Senior Citizens Target of Scams - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Senior Citizens Target of Scams

RICHLAND, Wash. - Senior citizens have become a target for a variety of scams.

One reason stems from a lack of family involvement, but fortunately for one Richland woman, her daughter recognized the scam before she lost thousands.

82 year old Shirley Nickerson said several weeks ago she received a letter in the mail claiming she was a finalist for a cash prize worth thousands of dollars. But when the company asked her to pay the taxes on the prize up front, Nickerson's daughter got suspicious.

Nickerson said she just wanted to help out with the family's finances.

"I wanted to send the kids to college, some to the church and some oversees in Africa where kids are dying," said Nickerson.    

West Richland Police claim other reasons why scam artists target senior citizens is they are often lonely, they have no social contacts, they're very trusting, and sometimes they have a lot of money saved up.

Elderly persons can avoid becoming victims with closer family involvement.