BECKLEY, WV (WVNS) — Raleigh County Sheriff James Canaday said on Friday, September 29, 2023, that senior citizens should be aware of common scams targeting the elderly.

Canaday said some scams involve texts, emails, or phone calls from those pretending to be Internal Revenue Service (IRS) agents or other governmental agents threatening penalties if senior citizens do not make an immediate payment.

He said, in some cases, predators call senior citizens and pretend to be a family member who needs help immediately and must have money.

The sheriff said governmental agencies send letters in the mail and do not request money through texts.

He advised senior citizens not to send money in such cases and to visit the Raleigh County Sheriff’s Department if they receive a suspicious text, email, phone call, or letter.

Canaday said seniors should use caution when making payments online.

“If you shop online, make sure you try to use a credit card, as opposed to a bank debit card, because if you use a debit card and your information gets stolen, then someone has access to your bank account,” he said. “Whereas, if you use a credit card, then somebody would just have access to what your credit card company has.”