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Helping senior citizens protect themselves against scams is the goal of two fraud prevention workshops that Senator George Borrello is hosting in Allegany and Cattaraugus counties.

Representatives will be discussing common scams and discussing strategies seniors can use to protect themselves from various types of identity theft, credit card and financial scams and other types of fraud.

“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. 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,” said Senator Borrello. “The effects of fraud on our seniors can be devastating, not just financially, but emotionally as well. 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.

“The events we’ve planned will help participants identify the most common types of scams, provide tips on how to avoid being victimized and offer an opportunity to obtain personalized assistance in resolving a fraud issue,” said Senator Borrello. “I hope that all interested seniors will join us at the event closest to them.”

“It is a pleasure to be able to partner with Senator Borrello, the Allegany County Sheriff, Center for Elder Law and Justice as well as the Attorney General’s Office to provide this event. Each year, millions of older Americans fall victim to scams and fraudulent activity, which can deplete the savings that they worked so hard for. This event will help educate older adults on the signs of fraud and scams. It will also empower them to know what steps to take to protect themselves and their financial future,” said Anita Mattison, Director of the Allegany County Office for the Aging.

“We know that it is becoming increasingly difficult to protect ourselves from predators. Older adults are often targeted the most. Unfortunately, scam artists are clever and manipulative and inventive. But knowledge is power. 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,” said Cathy Mackay, Director of the Cattaraugus County Department of the Aging.

BELMONT – TUESDAY, AUG. 17, from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. | Genesee Valley Central School, 1 Jaguar Drive, Belmont, NY 14813

Note: Preregistration is required for this event. Following a brief presentation, attendees will have the opportunity to meet one-on-one with agency representatives, who will be available to assist seniors who have been victims of fraud by answering questions or submitting claims to the FTC. This event will feature representatives of the Allegany County Sheriff’s Office, the Center for Elder Law and Justice and the NYS Attorney General’s Office. Interested individuals should call the Allegany County Office for the Aging to register at: 585-268-9390. Registration deadline: Tuesday, August 10.

OLEAN – THURSDAY, AUG. 19, from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. | John J. Ash Community Center, 112 N. Barry St., Olean, NY 14760

The Cattaraugus County Department of the Aging will have members of its interdisciplinary team on hand to discuss common scams, telltale red flags, share prevention tips and how to report scams. Representatives from Department of the Aging, the District Attorney’s Office, and Cattaraugus County Sheriff’s Office will be among the presenters.

Preregistration is not necessary, however questions can be directed to the Department of the Aging by calling: 716-373-8032.

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