Senior citizens often are targets of specific types of crime, including scams, identity theft and efforts to hack or infect their computers with viruses, according to local authorities.

Senior citizens often are targets of specific types of crime, including scams, identity theft and efforts to hack or infect their computers with viruses, according to local authorities.

"Our older population grew up in a time when you trusted everyone," said Tom Durflinger, crime-prevention coordinator for the Grove City Division of Police.

"Sometimes they can be a little too trusting or don't recognize when someone is trying to fool them with a scam," he said.

To help educate seniors on how to protect themselves from being a victim, Durflinger has been holding a monthly educational program since December 2013.

Seniors and Law Enforcement Together, or SALT, meets at 1 p.m. on the second Tuesday of each month at the Evans Senior Center, 4330 Dudley Ave.

"We generally have a specific topic each month," Durflinger said. "Sometimes one of the police officers or a detective from our force will lead the program, or we'll have someone from Jackson Township Fire Department to offer fire and safety tips."

Representatives from such agencies as the Better Business Bureau also have spoken at the meetings, he said.

Because some seniors don't have a computer or rarely use them, the meetings offer a way to help keep them informed about the latest scams or other crimes targeting older adults, Durflinger said.

"We've had a really good response to the program," he said. "Typically, we have between 20 and 30 people attend."

At every meeting, Durflinger said, attendees tell him how they were able to recognized a scam or avoid being a crime victim because of the information they received through the SALT program.

"It always makes me feel good to hear that," he said.

The next meeting, scheduled Jan. 12, will be about identify theft.

"It's a big problem in our community," Durflinger said. "Last year we had 173 cases of identity theft just in Grove City. We'll try to educate them about the ways people might try to steal your identity and how to protect yourself."

No registration is required for the SALT program and residents who live outside Grove City are invited to attend, Durflinger said.