Office for the Aging to Offer
Scam Prevention Seminars

Poughkeepsie … Dutchess County Executive Marcus J. announced the County’s Office for the Aging (OFA) has introduced a new seminar on scam prevention to help citizens avoid becoming a victim to fraud. There are two seminars being held this month:

  • Thursday, March 21st at 7 p.m. at St. Martin de Porres Parish’s Nativity Center, 118 Cedar Valley Road, Poughkeepsie
  • Monday, March 25th at 1 p.m. at Wells Manor Apartments, 6 Wells Manor Lane, Rhinebeck

The presentations touch on many issues of importance to seniors, but the information presented will benefit residents of every age. Though scammers often target seniors in their crimes, any resident is a potential scam target, and younger people are more likely to be successfully victimized. Once money is sent to scammers, it’s often very difficult – if not impossible – to recoup it.

County Executive Molinaro said, “Scammers looking to separate victims from their hard-earned money are more prevalent and use more advanced methods than ever before. Our Office for the Aging is diligent in its protection of our seniors, and its staff continually provides presentations to inform residents of the threat scammers pose. I urge all residents to consider attending this important discussion, as anyone of any age can benefit from the information that will be presented.”

Experts warn scams are more prevalent than ever – everything from fictitious companies soliciting potential victims over the telephone, identity thieves filing false income tax returns in others’ names, “catfishing” schemes that create fake identities to draw on victims’ emotions and bilk them out of money, and the like. A 2018 Federal Trade Commission report indicated among reports of fraud, consumers age 20-29 lost money in 40 percent of cases, compared to 18 percent of those 70 and older. Consumers age 60-69 filed the largest share of complaints overall.

Earlier this month, the Dutchess County Sheriff’s Office warned of new scam involving fake computer viruses: Victims receive a pop-up on their computer or phone from a “tech” company, which says the victim’s computer has a virus. The scammer offers to clean the computer and block other viruses for a nominal fee. After the fee is paid, the scammers say they were unable to fix it and offers to refund the money but claim they can only refund it via online banking. When the victim provides their account number, the scammer withdraws money from the victim’s account.

In December 2018, County Clerk Brad Kendall warned County residents to be aware of private companies mailing letters offering to retrieve a certified copy of residents’ deeds and mail it to them for an exorbitant fee. The County Clerk’s office routinely provides a certified copy of a deed for a nominal fee.

OFA staff continually updates its scam-prevention presentations and are available to organize such presentations for residents’ civic groups and houses of worship. Residents can learn more about setting up a presentation by contacting OFA Outreach Coordinator Brian Jones at bjones@dutchessny.gov or (845) 486-2555.

In 2018, OFA staff served more than 13,000 individual seniors, non-seniors in need of long-term care, caregivers and family members through a wide variety of community-based services, including, among others, case management, case assistance, home care, senior centers, home-delivered meals, legal services, insurance counseling, energy assistance, transportation, caregiver services and health promotion. Additionally, OFA staff held or participated in over 143 community outreach events, totaling direct contact with 2,900 persons, including presentations on topics such as Caregiving, Falls Prevention, Successful Aging, Scam Prevention, Health Insurance/Medicare, Food Safety, and Food and Drug Interactions. More information about the OFA and its many services and programs is available on Dutchess County Government’s website.