As a way to help prevent seniors from becoming victims of fraud, the Barstow Senior Center has teamed with the Contractors State License Board to hold a free scam seminar today.

The Senior Scam Stopper seminar will be held from 1 to 3 p.m. and will feature professionals explaining how to identify a scammer and how to steer clear of the fraud.

Barstow Senior Center gained the idea to hold a scam seminar after one of their very own members almost fell victim to fraud.

“I got on the Contractors State License website, read about their scam seminars and they were then happy to hold one here,” Barstow Senior Center Administrative Assistant Joyce Brady said.

One in five seniors has been a victim of fraud, according to Contractors State License Board, and seniors are the most targeted group for scams.

“We think this is something really needed here because several of our members have come close to becoming a victim,” Brady said. “We try to keep our members informed on the new scams.”

New scams are constantly being developed, leading seniors to be susceptible in releasing personal information to various strangers.

“They are very vulnerable, they are looking to have things repaired, transportation, and these people taking advantage know that,” Brady said.

Whether it is online or through a phone call, unlicensed or unscrupulous contractors have been known to seek credit card information, social security numbers and much more.

“Usually they will just do robo calls until someone falls victim,” Brady said.

The various sessions during the seminar will feature different types of scams, from identity theft, auto repair, medicare and foreign lotteries to mail fraud. The expert speakers vary from many local, state and federal agencies who present broader topics.

“Hopefully they learn a lot and it’s a good turnout,” Brady said.

The free Senior Scam Stopper seminar will be located at the Barstow Senior Center, 555 Melissa Ave., Barstow. For more information, visit www.cslb.ca.gov or SeniorScamStopper.com.