JERSEY CITY – The Division of Consumer Affairs today joined with Hudson County officials and presented a fraud awareness and prevention program specifically designed for senior citizens.
The “FedUp - Senior Fraud Education & Protection Program” was presented this afternoon to senior citizens at the Maureen Collier Senior Center. FedUp is a statewide program that debuted last year and includes a formal presentation plus DVDs and booklets that are distributed to attendees.
“FedUp is a proactive program that educates seniors in how to spot scams and how to avoid becoming victims of fraud,” said David Szuchman, Consumer Affairs Director.
“Knowledge is power and today we’re empowering Hudson County seniors against the con artists who think the elderly are easy prey.”
The FedUp program is funded through a $58,000 grant. The grant comes from a $5 million fund established for consumer education and protection projects, under a multi-state settlement with Sears in 1997.
Some of the scams targeted at senior citizens include: advance fee fraud, where a senior citizen is informed that he/she has won a prize but needs to send in money to pay for alleged processing fees and/or local taxes; bogus charities that ask for donations in cash or via checks made out to “cash”; unregistered contractors who show up unannounced and offer a “special deal” because they are allegedly working in the neighborhood and have extra materials to do a job; and rebate or reward checks that covertly enroll the person cashing the check into a subscription or contract.
The topics addressed in the FedUp program include:
Home improvement projects and repairs
Tear-out tip sheets on these topics are included in the brochures that were given to senior citizens today. The tip sheets can be used for quick reference on how to spot a potential scam.
Attending today’s program with Director Szuchman were Hudson County Executive Thomas A. DeGise and the Reverend Tyrone Chess, Director of the Hudson County Office of Consumer Affairs.