2016-10-12 / Features

Simotas’ Event For Seniors: Avoid Cons & Scammers


Assemblywoman Aravella Simotas is sponsoring special events for the community on how to avoid con artists and scammers who target the elderly. Assemblywoman Aravella Simotas is sponsoring special events for the community on how to avoid con artists and scammers who target the elderly. On October 6th, Assemblywoman Aravella Simotas brought speakers from the 114th Precinct and the Queens District Attorney’s Office to talk with seniors at Catholic Charities Dellamonica Steinway Senior Center, 23-56 Broadway, about financial fraud and scams that are perpetrated against the elderly.

“I want seniors to feel empowered, not vulnerable to the con artists and scammers who target them. Knowledge truly is power, and if you recognize the warning signs, you can avoid becoming a victim,” said Assemblywoman Simotas. “ But some of these crooks are very good at what they do, so I want seniors to know that it’s never their fault if they fall for a scam – and whom they can call for help,” Assemblywoman Simotas added.

Assistant District Attorney Kristen Kane, who is the Chief of the Elder Fraud Unit in the Office of the Queens District Attorney told the audience of approximately 50 seniors that the DA’s office is seeing an increase in crimes against seniors, who they define as 60 years old and up. She urged people to call the Elder Fraud Unit if they’ve been the victim of a scam or fraud. Their number is 718-286-5993.

Deputy Inspector Peter Fortune, the Commanding Officer of the 114th Precinct, said the precinct has seen a rash of check fraud that is perpetrated by people who fish mail out of sidewalk mailboxes. Then they open up any bills that are being paid, wash the ink off the checks and then write-in a new payee and dollar amount. He warned people who pay bills by mail, to always use the dropbox outside the post office before the last pick-up time and not a street mailbox.

Assemblywoman Simotas’s next senior event on fraud and scams is on October 25th, from 10 to 11 am, at HANAC Harmony JVL Innovative Senior Center, 27-40 Hoyt Avenue South, in Astoria.

For more information on this event, call the Assemblywoman at 718-545-3889.

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