RIVERSIDE, Calif. (KABC) -- It is World Elder Abuse Awareness Day.
With financial scams on the rise, state and local leader spoke to seniors in Riverside -- urging them to be alert and also sharing simple steps to prevent being a victim.
State Attorney General Rob Bonta spoke to a group of senior citizens in Riverside to sound the alarm about the growing number of scams - not just because of how much more technology we use these days but because by 2030, he says one out of every four people in this state will be over the age of 60.
"It's a blessing to have our loved ones live longer," Bonta said. "It also means we have a responsibility to make sure their long lives are happy, rewarding and safe, that they are protected."
Bonta estimates one out of every 10 senior citizens has been victim to these types of scams.
Riverside Police Chief Larry Gonzalez says a friend of his recently told him a family member was scammed by someone claiming they'd won a Publisher's Clearinghouse sweepstakes.
"The scammer told the victim she'd also won a luxury car, and would need to pay some fees to receive that car and additional sweepstakes winnings," Gonzalez said. "Over the next several weeks, unfortunately, the elderly victim mailed several cashier's checks, totaling well over $200,000."
They say while a lot of these scams take place online, and some of them in person most of the time it's robocalls you get over the phone.
They suggest that if you get a call from a number you don't recognize, when you answer the phone, just remain silent. If it is a robocall, after a few seconds of silence the caller will automatically hang up.
"We come from a generation where you can trust everybody," said Mike McGuiness of Riverside.
McGuiness is on the Dale senior center's advisory board.
He says many of the victims are widows and widowers who are lonely.
"They've been on their own for years, they're lonely, and they just want someone to talk to. And all of a sudden someone is your friend on the phone, you have no idea who they are, and they take advantage of you."