Don’t get scammed

COURTESY PHOTO | T.J. Hatter, Long Island Director of Intergovernmental Affairs.

COURTESY PHOTO | T.J. Hatter, Long Island Director of Intergovernmental Affairs.

If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is, according to experts on avoiding financial fraud. The Shelter Island Library will present a talk Friday by T.J. Hatter, Long Island Director of Intergovernmental Affairs, as part of the New York Attorney General’s Office initiative to help seniors recognize dishonest financial schemes. Mr. Hatter advises Eric T. Schneiderman, Attorney General, on what’s happening in Nassau and Suffolk County.

According to the office’s brochure, older people are frequently victims of investment fraud and financial deception. In fact, one study found that in one year older adults lost $2.9 billion dollars to fraud committed by both strangers and trusted associates. For example, scam artists have contacted potential victims to give congratulations for winning a foreign lottery. But in order to collect their winnings they must first send money to cover the taxes. Believe it or not, some people have sent thousands (and hundreds of thousands) of dollars to a complete stranger, believing they will then receive a huge return. To add salt to the wound, it is unlikely that they ever get their money back, even if the criminals are caught.

Mr. Hatter will discuss how to recognize a scam, what groups are most vulnerable, how to protect yourself from being cheated and who can help you if you are victimized. Join him at the library on Friday, September 23 at 11:30 a.m. for Smart Seniors Don’t Get Scammed.

For more information, call the library at (631) 749-0042.

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