The phone call goes something like this.. "Congratulations! This is Winner's International and you've won our big prize! We will release the funds as soon as you send cash via Western Union to pay the shipping, taxes and processing fees." Or the caller might say. "Hi Grandma, this is your favorite Grandson and I need help. I've been in a bad car accident in Canada and was arrested. You have to wire transfer money immediately but don't tell anyone about this."
The urgent voice on the other end of the line often sounds legitimate. But in fact, the caller is really a criminal looking to steal your money, or your identity. Consumers are losing billions of dollars every year to various kinds of schemes, particularly older Americans who tend to be especially vulnerable to the promise of a big pay-off, a cry for help from a "supposed" loved one, or the sweet talk and smooth conversation provided by a con-artist.
In an effort to educate the public on how to recognize and prevent residents from becoming a victim of a fraud, scam or identity theft, you are invited to join fraud experts from the Lee County Sheriff's Office for a stimulating discussion, followed by a question and answer session on:
Frauds and Scams affecting Seniors and their Families
How Seniors can Recognize and Report Frauds and Scams
How to Detect, Protect, and Report Healthcare Fraud and Abuse
The seminars will be conducted at the following locations, dates and times:
* Jan. 24, 9:30 a.m. -11:30 a.m. at Grace Community Church 4151 Hancock Bridge Parkway, North Fort Myers
* Jan. 30, 9:30 a.m. -11:30 a.m. at St. Columbkille Catholic Church 12171 Iona Road, Fort Myers
* Feb. 6, 9:30 a.m. -11:30 a.m. at St. Leo Catholic Church 28290 Beaumont Road, Bonita Springs
* Feb. 14, 9:30 a.m. -11:30 a.m. at Christ United Methodist Church 1430 Homestead Road North, Lehigh Acres
For further information or to make reservations call the Sheriff's Office Community Relations Unit at 477-1037.
Source: Lee County Sheriff's Office