NEW PALTZ — The New York State Consumer Protection Board (CPB) and the State University of New York at New Paltz (SUNY New Paltz) will join together at 11 a.m. on Thursday, June 12, 2008 in the Student Union Building, Room 100, to bring information, tips and tools to consumers in an effort to prevent senior citizens from becoming victims of scams.
“Knowledge is protection and power,” said Mindy A. Bockstein, Chairperson and Executive Director of the CPB, who will deliver remarks at Thursday’s session. “Seniors can become the unwitting victims of travel, healthcare, charity, home improvement and other scams leaving psychological and financial scars. Our goal is to alert people to the warning signs, and advise them of what to do should they become a victim. We are happy to join with SUNY New Paltz to bring this important program to this community.”
College President Steven Poskanzer said, “Public service has long been at the core of our mission. As an educational institution, we are happy to partner with the Consumer Protection Board to provide this vital information for seniors in our region.”
More than 4 million people are victimized by fraud each year, according to a Federal Trade Commission’s Consumer Fraud and Identity Theft Complaint Data for 2007, and though tens of thousands are among the elderly, it is believed that scams against this group are largely unreported. As people are living longer and are more active in their senior years, elder fraud is a growing concern in the United States.
This presentation and the materials that will be available to attendees are designed to help seniors identify common schemes used by thieves and also to take steps to protect themselves and their assets. Informed consumers will be in a position to pass along information to others, thereby further assisting in the prevention of possible future scams. The CPB’s resources offer helpful information about what people can do if they or someone they know has been a victim of a scam.
A full list of tips alerting consumers about scams, identity theft and other consumer information is available on the CPB’s website at www.nysconsumer.gov.