Knoxville (WVLT) - It often starts out as a phone call or a visit to your home. And then, before you know it, your entire life savings is gone.
Volunteer TV’s Allison Hunt has more on a special summit where the goal is to empower and educate seniors to protect themselves.
Thursday, mayors and attorneys general from 17 East Tennessee counties joined together at the Senior Summit to help seniors protect themselves and keep them from becoming victims of fraud and abuse.
"I think we can save some heartache today,” says Knox County District Attorney General.
Saving heartache by arming senior citizens with ways to protect themselves from fraud and abuse.
Thousands came to the expo center to get advice from the experts.
"They know we're older and we're a little bit slower on the information and I think it's very important to find out as much as we can,” but Norma Moore knew enough to call the cops when someone tried to steal her savings. "On a telephone telling us they were from the bank and there was a mistake in the account and asked for the account number."
After that scare, Moore got on a bus and came to the summit from Scott County to learn more. "We want to know what to do, what are the best situations in our case if that happens to us."
Experts say the next scam artist could knock on your door, ask to help you with repairs, and even offer you a loan.
"Then puts pressure on them, it's gonna cost more, than what we thought, jack up the prices, and it doesn't give that consumer time to shop around for other lenders,” a scam Keith Richardson says could leave you thousands of dollars in debt. "Do not let anyone pressure you into taking out a loan or signing a paper before you're ready."
Knox County District Attorney General Randy Nichols says the government is doing a reasonable job to protect you...but there is more that can be done. "We might want to talk down the road on increasing the penalties for people that prey on elder citizens."
To find more information on how to protect yourself, take a look at the websites we have listed below.