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Department of State offers guidance to shield seniors from consumer fraud

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  • Staff Report 

As National Senior Citizens Day approaches on August 21, the New York Department of State’s Division of Consumer Protection has released crucial advice to help safeguard older residents from consumer fraud and scams. With financial exploitation ranking as a top form of elder abuse, a recent AARP study reported losses amounting to an estimated $28.3 billion annually due to financial deceit in the U.S.

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Secretary of State Robert J. Rodriguez expressed concerns about the frequency with which seniors are exploited, highlighting the ever-changing tactics employed by scammers. He emphasized the importance of arming seniors and their families with information on these fraudulent schemes. Greg Olsen, Director of the New York State Office for the Aging, further advised caution, suggesting seniors refrain from clicking unexpected links or divulging personal information. For those seeking assistance or having concerns about scams, NY Connects is available at 1-800-342-9871.

A few of the prevalent scams targeting the elderly include robocalls pitching free medical devices, fake jury duty notifications demanding fines, and deceptive emails leading to malicious software downloads. The Division urges individuals to resist immediate action when confronted with suspicious calls or emails, to verify the caller’s identity, and to avoid sending money or sharing banking details. Further information and prevention tips are accessible in the Division’s Senior Anti-Fraud Education (S.A.F.E.) brochure. Those interested can also follow the Division on social media for ongoing consumer protection advice.

Categories: New York StateNews