BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) — The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute, or OLLI at LSU hosted a coffee chat on Preventing Elder Financial Abuse Scams.

OLLI at LSU hosts programs and seminars to educate people over the age of 50. The program at LSU invited members of the Secret Service from across the state to explain how senior citizens should protect themselves.

According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), in 2021, there were 92,371 elderly victims of fraud, resulting in $1.7 billion in losses. This statistic increased by 74% compared to the previous year.

According to Secret Service Member, Tara McLeese, she has seen a growing problem with the elderly population of scammers in Baton Rouge and nationally.

“We have statistics that show that there have been over $3 billion [in losses], especially targeting seniors in the last two years,” says McLeese

On Wednesday afternoon, around 100 people attended the seminar to learn how to protect themselves against scammers.

Senior Director of Professional Development & Community programs, Lisa Verma, is an organizer of the scammer seminar.

“It’s unfortunate that it’s happening,” says Verma. “What we learned today is there are a lot of foreign entities and usually not friendly entities with the U.S.”

A member of OLLI, Linda Chauviere, has personally known other senior citizens affected by the scammers. She believes that the Seminar helped explained how to protect her and her husband.

“I think it’s a very timely topic for our age group because all of the reasons that they listed that our age group is targeted are all very real,” said Chauviere.

If you or a loved one has been involved in fraud, click here for the national hotline.