I recently witnessed the potentially devastating impact of scam calls on seniors. Like many others from their generation, my parents feel more comfortable and secure using a landline. Unfortunately, this choice exposes them to a relentless stream of undesired and deceitful calls that exploit their vulnerability.

A staggering 85% of landline calls are now unwanted or spam. My parents have become frequent targets, facing relentless intrusion into their daily lives. Recently, they narrowly avoided falling victim to a caller who requested their bank details under the guise of verifying their account. It was a close call that spurred me into action.

After extensive research, I promptly added their number to the Do Not Call list and began exploring options for a spam call blocker. However, my journey revealed a stark truth: there need to be more resources to educate and protect seniors effectively in the face of this growing menace. And it’s a more significant issue than you think, with over 200,000 seniors in Maine still relying on a landline today.

The consequences of these scams are not limited to emotional distress; they also result in significant financial losses. The FBI’s Elder Fraud Report of 2022 revealed that a staggering $12,741,072 was lost due to scams, and 459 senior victims over 60 in Maine alone were targeted. On average, seniors lose $500 or more when they fall victim to these malicious schemes.

State and local authorities must step up and take bold, decisive action to address this urgent issue. Our seniors are counting on us. It is high time we allocate the necessary resources to develop robust educational programs that equip them with the knowledge and tools they need to protect themselves.


Lionel Powers


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