By Ian Bush

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Older Americans who are new to the Internet are a prime target for scammers. Keeping senior web surfers safe is the goal of a new public-private partnership in Pennsylvania.

Places like this community center will become hubs for free online safety classes.

“The irony — we’ve finally gotten these folks connected to the Internet, we’re leveling the playing field, the last thing we want to be a part of is seniors being scammed,” said Comcast exec David Cohen.

Cohen says they’re printing and distributing tens of thousands of booklets with tips for banking, shopping, and socializing on the web.

Comcast also is running public service announcements, and is donating laptops to nonprofits.

“We’re going to help seniors on the Internet to be less afraid so they can find out information, find out about Medicare, Social Security, and send emails to their grandchildren,” said Holly Lange, head of the Philadelphia Corporation for Aging.

“I know we can push back on these kinds of scams which hit the average senior to the cost of $36,000,” said Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro.

Shapiro says the best way to defeat fraudsters is through this kind of education.

“We can have a really positive impact on protecting seniors online,” he said.

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