Sheriff Kevin J. McConville reminds Putnam County residents to be wary of phone calls from strangers asking for money. These calls vary and can include those that try to scare a person by telling them that they are calling from a police agency and a relative has been arrested and they need to send money to bail them out of jail. Often the callers will put someone on the phone to impersonate a child or grandchild to convince the victim further. Other times, criminals pose as government employees and threaten to arrest or prosecute victims unless they agree to provide funds or other payments.
Seniors are often targeted because they tend to be trusting and polite. They also usually have financial savings, own a home, and have good credit, making them attractive to scammers.
Additionally, seniors may be less inclined to report fraud because they don’t know how or be too ashamed of being scammed. They might also be concerned that their relatives will lose confidence in their abilities to manage their financial affairs. And when an elderly victim does report a crime, they may be unable to supply detailed information to investigators.
It is estimated that over 3.5 million older adults are the victims of financial crimes each year, with total estimated losses of over 3 billion dollars.
Residents who believe that they have been a victim of a scam should contact the Sheriff’s Office at (845) 225-4300 or their local Police Department.