KENNETH CITY (FOX 13) - Police in Kenneth City are trying to increase awareness after an increase in the number of seniors who have fallen victim to scam artists.
They held a seminar for seniors at the Martha Ward Pavilion at the Clearview Oaks senior housing complex.
94-year-old Marcille Vander Syde attended the seminar and said those who have called her know deeply personal information.
"How in the world do they know that I had breast cancer?" she asked.
81-year-old Connie Sartor said she was told she needed a computer protection plan because her computer wasn't working. The caller didn't know she doesn't have a computer.
"I play with them. I tell them, 'You know, that's funny, I don't even have a computer,'" Sartor said.
But in Kenneth City, four seniors in the last month were left with empty pockets. One mailed an envelope full of cash, supposedly to pay a tax on giant winnings. And another mailed away $200,000.
"You are 20 more times likely to be robbed at your computer than you are in the street," said Kenneth City Police Chief Kevin Riley.
Kenneth City Police called an anti-scam seminar at a senior living facility on Thursday.
"You don't have to pay to enter in order to win," said Ofc. Brittani Berg.
The bad news - say police - is that fraud investigations often stall. Even after years of scam education and awareness, the technology scammers use is very hard to trace, meaning it's unlikely to get money back or find out who took it. Crooks use shifting email address and cell phone numbers.
"If it is domestic, we can track it down that way," said Berg. "But if it is international, or overseas, which most of the time it is, it's pretty much slim to none that we can find it."
On the current Kenneth City investigations, they do say the postal service is trying to help track the money that was mailed to scam artists.