“I’m calling about your car warranty” scams continue | News, Sports, Jobs

I’m calling for your car warranty! How annoying these calls are. We get them all. Did you know that scams are big business for those who scam to get our money. The office of State Senator George Borello, the Chautauqua United Senior Council, the Chautauqua County Sheriff’s Office, the Center for Elder Law & Justice and the Chautauqua County Office for Aging Services presents a community meeting on July 15th. This event will be held at the Fluvanna Church community in Jamestown. No registration is necessary, just come from 10 a.m. to noon.

The New York State Attorney’s Office receives complaints of fraud. The Federal Trade Commission lists common scams reported regularly. Many are phone scams, like your car’s extended warranty. This is from their website at https://consumer.ftc.gov/features/scam-alerts

Scams by Imposters: A scammer pretends to be someone you trust: a government agency like the Social Security Administration or the IRS, a family member, a lover, or someone claiming to be there. has a problem with your computer. The scammer may even show a fake name or number on your caller ID to convince you.

Debt Relief and Credit Repair Scams: Scam artists will offer to lower your credit card interest rates, repair your credit, or get your student loan forgiven if you pay first a fee to their business. But you could end up losing your money and ruining your credit.

Business and investment scams: Callers may promise to help you start your own business and provide business coaching, or guarantee big profits on an investment. Don’t take their word for it. Learn about the FTC’s Business Opportunity Rule and learn about investment opportunities from your state securities regulator.

Charity scams: Scammers like to impersonate charities. Scams asking for disaster relief donations are especially common over the phone. Always consult with a charity before donating and don’t feel obligated to donate immediately over the phone before making a donation.

Extended car warranties: Scammers find out what kind of car you drive and when you bought it in order to trick you into buying overpriced or worthless service contracts.

“Free” Trials: A caller may promise a free trial, but then sign up for products (sometimes many products) for which you are billed each month until you cancel.

Loan scams: Loan scams include upfront loan scams, where scammers target people with bad credit histories and secure loans or credit cards for an upfront fee. Legitimate lenders don’t make such guarantees, especially if you have bad credit, no credit, or bankruptcy.

Prize and sweepstakes scams: In a typical scam, the caller will say you’ve won a prize, but then tell you that you have to pay taxes, entry fees, or shipping to get it. But after paying, you find out that there is no price.

Travel scams and timeshare scams: Scammers promise free or low-cost vacations that can end up costing you in hidden fees. And sometimes after paying you find out that there is no vacation. In timeshare resale scams, scammers lie and tell you that they will sell your timeshare – and may even have a buyer lined up – if you pay them first.

People are vulnerable to scams because scammers are adept at praying out their fears or hopes using a bad situation/consequence like an arrest warrant, grandchild needs help in jail, promises of a romantic relationship or a grand prize like winning a lot of money.

The scammers make us believe that there is an emergency, a deadline, and that you must act immediately or something bad will happen to them or you! They rely on your compassion and play on our natural impulse to help. They also don’t want to give you time to think too much about what they’re asking you to do. Often they ask for gift cards, cash, or a cashier’s check to pay for the “costs” which will release your millions but most often they are after your personal information which is the key to all your financial resources.

A key thing to know these days is not to trust the phone number that appears on your caller ID! Scammers have a trick called “identity theft” which allows them to display a phone number that looks like a local phone number. It is always good practice to let a call go to voicemail/answering machine. This way you can listen and decide if it’s someone you need to call back. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) advises

1) Never pay to collect a prize.

2) Don’t get pushed around.

3) Talk to people you know.

4) Talk to the FTC. Report scams to 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357).

Reading this, you might think I wouldn’t be so gullible, but it happens to ordinary people every day! However, I am here to tell you that scammers are smart! The best way to defend yourself is to get information, keep up to date with the latest scams, and report any fraudulent contacts you receive. This helps stop the scam. Senator Bordello’s office, the Chautauqua County Sheriff’s Office, the Center for Elder Law and Justice, the Chautauqua United Senior Council and the Chautauqua County Office for Aging Services are hosting a community meeting July 15 from 10 a.m. to noon at the Fluvanna Community Church located at 3363 Fluvanna Ave Jamestown NY 14701. No registration is required.

The Chautauqua County NY Connects program can provide information and assistance on scams and get you there to report them to authorities. There are NY Connects programs located with the Office for Aging Services (OFAS) and the Southwestern Independent Living Center (SILC). You can reach NY Connects by phone: 716-753-4582 or 800-342-9871 email: [email protected] Southwestern Independent Living NY Connects at 716-661-3010 or 716-490-7561. There is an online resource tool called the NY Connects Resource Directory as well as at www.nyconnects.ny.gov. We’re here for you and can put you in touch with support.

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