Seniors Told To Avoid Becoming Fraud Victims
The New York City Departments for the Aging (DFTA) and of Consumer Affairs (DCA) teamed up on Monday to launch Fraud Against Senior Citizens Awareness Week, an effort designed to continue educating the public and going after those who prey on the elderly.
In a joint statement, DFTA Commissioner Edwin Mendez–Santiago and DCA Commissioner Gretchen Dykstra said their program was aimed at combating consumer fraud which is aimed at New York’s 1.3 million older residents and offering tips on how seniors can protect themselves.
The two commissioners also presented a proclamation from Mayor Michael Bloomberg declaring August 25 through 31 as Fraud Against Senior Citizens Awareness Week in New York City.
In the course of the announcement, which was made at a Manhattan senior center, Mendez–Santiago declared:
"This is a cooperative effort on our part to alert older New Yorkers to the most common fraudulent schemes. American consumers lose more than $40 billion a year to telemarketing fraud alone. It is our hope that this public information campaign will help make seniors aware of how scams work and how they can be avoided."
Dykstra added, "Unfortunately, senior citizens are the most vulnerable consumer group for scam artists to target. Fraud Against Senior Citizens Awareness Week gives us another opportunity to continue educating the public and going after those who prey on the elderly."
Mendez–Santiago identified the fraud schemes most often reported to the DFTA Elderly Crime Victims Resource Center as predatory lending, home improvement contractors, identity theft, and mail fraud telemarketing.
Both agencies have outreach programs available to the community. The DFTA Elderly Crime Victims Resource Center assists seniors who become crime victims and offers prevention counseling as well as assistance for elder abuse.
DCA maintains a Speakers Bureau which provides representatives to visit senior centers or community organizations to deliver talks about issues relating to consumer fraud and how seniors can protect themselves.
For more information on DFTA and its programs, call (212) 442-1000 or visit the DFTA Website at www.nyc.gov.-aging. For further information on DCA and its programs, call (212) 487-4444 or visit www. nyc.gov/consumers.
CANDIDATES’ DAY AT AARP MEETING: Candidates for the state senate Democratic nomination in the new 13th District covering Jackson Heights and neighboring areas will speak at the AARP Jackson Heights Chapter No. 991 meeting next Wednesday at 1 p.m. at the Jewish Center of Jackson Heights.
Scheduled to appear are John Sabini, former councilmember in that area, Charles Castro and Nestor Diaz, all seeking the Democratic nomination.
Also scheduled to speak is Councilmember Helen Sears (D–Jackson Heights), who succeeded Sabini.
MEETING: Another AARP meeting next Wednesday, September 4, will be held by Chapter No. 2889 at 12:30 p.m. at the First Presbyterian Church of Newtown, 54-05 Seabury St., Elmhurst. The speaker, Herbert Deutsch, will talk on "How To Avoid Getting Ripped Off By Your Investment Broker."