GREAT BARRINGTON -- The Pittsfield Cooperative Bank is sponsoring a free workshop on scam awareness on Wednesday, Dec. 18 at Bostwick Gardens. The event starts at 12:45 p.m.

The session is designed to educate both family caregivers and senior citizens to the tactics of white collar thieves who are intent on separating them of either their life savings, or the savings of a loved one.

Next week’s workshop is the third of six similar seminars that are being sponsored by the Pittsfield Cooperative Bank. The first two workshops, held at the Dalton Senior Center in late November, and the Ralph Froio Senior Center in Pittsfield in early December, were well-received by the attendees.

"The events are very interactive," said Robert P. Dean, the Director of Navigation for Caregivers, who is the former executive director of Elder Services of Berkshire County.

"Folks are sharing information about solicitations they have recently been subjected to. It helps to know about specific ruses and it is somewhat comforting to those in the audience when they realize that they are not alone regarding these deceptive attempts," he said.

"Scammers often pose as authority figures representing Social Security, the IRS or a seemingly well-known charity," Dean added. "We provide the basic do’s and don’ts when dealing with these characters. We want to raise awareness, prevent scams and help people keep what is theirs."