Northwestern DA helping to protect elderly from fraud

Hampshire County

People lose money to fraud every year and last year was no different. 

New numbers from the Federal Trade Commission show Americans reported losing nearly $1.5 billion to fraud in 2018. It’s an increase of 38 percent over the previous year. 

Northwestern District Attorney, David Sullivan wants to make sure everyone avoids scams that could threaten your personal information, especially the elderly. 

These calls come up all the time, Sullivan said. They are pretending to be police, they are pretending to be good citizens but unless you know the person, don’t fall victim of these scams.

Senior Citizens are less likely to report a fraud because they don’t know who to report it to, or just don’t know they have been scammed.

The DA’s office held an informational meeting at the Northampton senior center Tuesday to help seniors learn about the latest scams. 

Sharon Martula of Northampton was there because she recently fell victim.

They stole my identity, Martula said. A lot of other different things happened. And because I keep getting more and more telephone calls at home and even on my cell phone.  

Just last week, two elderly residents living in Deerfield fell victim.

They were told over the phone that their grandchildren had been arrested and needed $44,000 in bail money — so they paid it. 

In reality, that would never happen and you should immediately hang up and report it to the Federal Trade Commission or police. 

Never give your financial or personal information over the phone. If they need to contact you, they’ll mail you. 

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