CHEYENNE – CyberWyoming and Meals on Wheels of Cheyenne are teaming up to provide scam alert information to senior citizen clients of Meals on Wheels.
Seniors are some of the most vulnerable to internet scams in our State according to the FBI Internet Crimes Complaint Center. In 2017, the Wyoming 50+ population reported losing $1,461,672 to the FBI, but this more than doubled to $3,424,097 in 2018’s reported internet crimes.
Thus, Executive Directors Sharon Benson of Meals on Wheels and Laura Baker of CyberWyoming decided to do something about it as they sat next to each other at the recent Women of Influence conference in Casper. CyberWyoming provides Meals on Wheels of Cheyenne with weekly scam alert and cyber information flyers specific to senior citizens. The Meals on Wheels drivers distribute the flyers on their Wednesday routes, which has the most people.
Meals on Wheels of Cheyenne delivers almost 300 meals per day to the Cheyenne community. The volunteer drivers will distribute the information to the clients and start a discussion.
“It is important that we provide information that makes our citizens feel empowered. The first flyer was about the Federal Trade Commission’s Do Not Call Registry and how to sign up for it. The second flyer was about reporting unwanted calls,” said Baker. “It feels good to report a pesky caller you don’t want to hear from.”
The plan is to develop 13 weeks of material and then recycle it once each quarter. CyberWyoming will review the material on a semi-annual basis and add or remove flyers as necessary. Scam alerts from the Federal Trade Commission, like the recent scam about your social security number expiring, will be worked into each quarter as needed.
Meals on Wheels of Cheyenne has a tradition of being innovative under Benson’s leadership. They are the only program in the State that makes therapeutic meals, with the advice of their staff nutritionist, and takes likes/dislikes into account when making meals. It isn’t unusual for the Cheyenne kitchen to make one main dish and 20 different alternatives.
“The whole point is that we are trying to make their health better so they can stay in their homes,” said Benson.