It’s a growing problem in western Massachusetts: seniors being targeted by financial predators.

Hundreds of concerned citizens filled the Raymond A. Jordan Senior Center in Springfield Thursday afternoon to learn how to protect themselves. Members heard from Hampden County District Attorney Anthony Gulluni and Milagros Johnson, the director of Mayor Domenic Sarno’s Office of Consumer Information.

Johnson said the predators who work the phones are expert con artists. She explained, “The predators use the best technique, they come to you to fall victims. They’re very creative they’re very convincing.”

Senior center member Linda Cotton told 22News, the predators not only come at you by phone but also through the mail.

“I got a letter in the mail saying that someone had died and they had researched a lot of [Cottons],” she recalled.

Johnson advises you to just hang up on anyone who calls and asks for money.

Senior center member Teresa Concepcion told 22News she’s worried from being cheated out of her savings. “Very disturbing, it’s disturbing because seniors have worked all of their lives.”

Seniors came away with good advice in Thursday’s meeting including, being skeptical and never disclosing personal information to someone who calls you on the phone.

Don’t be afraid to be rude to strangers either over the phone, through the mail and especially those who come knocking at your door.

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