OLEAN – No one likes being swindled out of money or assets, but fraud schemes seem all too common with modern technology. To battle this, Senator George Borrello is hosting informative workshops that will teach people how to keep themselves and their resources safe.
In the workshops, common scams and prevention efforts will be reviewed, along with information regarding what to do if you realize you’ve been a scam victim.
The most typical victims, and those most often targeted by fraudsters, are senior citizens. As such, Borrello’s programs are designed especially for people aged 65 and up.
“The effects of fraud on our seniors can be devastating, not just financially, but emotionally as well,” explained Borrello. “Research indicates older adults are less likely to report fraud because of shame or concern that family members will think they are unable to manage their own affairs.”
During the pandemic, fraudulent activity skyrocketed to unprecedented levels.
“With the evolution of technology, the prevalence of fraud has increased dramatically. However, during the pandemic it exploded to levels we’ve never seen before,” said Borrello. “According to data from the New York State Comptroller, identity theft increased 85 percent during 2020 and more than four times the level of just one decade ago.”
Two workshops will be held. The first is on August 17 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Genesee Valley Central School in Belmont. Preregistration is required to be done by August 10 and can be done by calling the Allegany County Office for the Aging at (585) 268-9390. The event will begin with a presentation followed by an opportunity to speak personally with representatives who can assist fraud victims by filing claims or answering questions.
The second event will be held on August 19 from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. at the John J. Ash Community Center in Olean. Preregistration isn’t needed for this workshop, but questions can be directed to the Cattaraugus County Department of the Aging, who can be reached by calling (716) 373-8032.
Overall, knowledge is the best protection against fraud.
“The more we can work together and educate our community on recognizing the signs of fraud, the better we can protect ourselves, our loved ones, and our neighbors,” noted Cathy Mackay, Director of the Cattaraugus County Department of the Aging.