New training for grocery workers will try to protect Pennsylvania's elderly from being victims of scams

Scammers often use gift cards to get money and personal information, targeting seniors, and now the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania wants grocery workers and convenience store clerks know how to recognize those scams.

The State Department of Banking & Securities will soon be training workers how to protect seniors from becoming victims.

The department is partnering with the Pennsylvania Food Merchants Association for the training.

“Elder financial exploitation is a scourge on our commonwealth that has not yielded with the challenges posed by COVID-19,” said Tina Kotsalos, Director of the Investor Education and Consumer Outreach Office. “We are thrilled to work with our partners to reduce exploitation through gift card scams and help inform consumers about how to protect their assets.”

Scammers target the elderly to try to get them to pay a fictitious debt or fee by using a gift card. Using this method makes it difficult to trace once the scammers have the gift card numbers.

It will help employees give seniors the tools to stop those types of transactions.