News Details

Consumer Protection & Senior Services Symposium Scheduled for September 20th Valuable information for seniors on how they can protect themselves from becoming victims of identity theft, and other scams

(West Deptford, NJ) – The Gloucester County Board of Freeholders today announced that they will sponsor a Senior Citizens Symposium aimed at educating county seniors on how to protect themselves from becoming victims of mail fraud, phone fraud, identity theft and other scams that are focused on taking advantage of older residents.

The Symposium will be held on Wednesday, September 20th from 8 am until 12 noon at RiverWinds Community Center in West Deptford.  Only 200 tickets are available to the free event which will feature a speaker from the Federal Trade Commission, and CBS 3’s Consumer Reporter Jim Donovan.  A continental breakfast will be served.

“Gloucester County has been proactive in educating our seniors on ways they can protect themselves from scams and what they need to be on the look out for,” said Freeholder Director Sweeney.  “There have been an increasing number of complaints from our seniors regarding scams and fraud so we are holding this event to put seniors, experts and information together under one roof.  We want our seniors to be well armed with information and protect themselves, and often times their life savings,” Director Sweeney stated.

The County Office of Consumer Protection, Senior Services and the Prosecutors Office will also present speakers at the event and will have staff on hand to answer questions.  “County agencies are constantly working together when one of our seniors fall victim to fraud or identity theft,” said Freeholder Bill Krebs, liaison to the county’s Office of Consumer Protection.  “It does happen, but through informational events like this symposium our seniors have the opportunity to ask questions of our staff in person and get a great education on topics like what they need to know when hiring a home contractor, and how to protect their personal information,” Krebs said.

August 31, 2006
Gloucester County Senior Symposium

Freeholder Helene Reed said that sometimes seniors are too trusting when they receive a phone call from someone who sounds ‘official’ requesting personal information from them, or sometimes they trust people to do work on their homes for them and pay them up front without getting all the proper documentation.   

“Seniors have worked hard all their lives and identity theft can ruin a person’s good name and credit very quickly.  It can take a lot of time and money to recover from identity theft and scams,” said Reed.

“This symposium will teach seniors how to protect their good name and assets from falling victim to people who would be likely to prey on them.  When we teach our seniors what questions to ask a contractor we empower them to be good consumers, and when we teach them what information they should not give out, they gain the power over scam artists – we don’t want our seniors being fearful, we want them to be knowledgeable,” stated Freeholder Reed.  Reed is the county’s liaison to the Office of Senior Services.

Seniors can call the County Office of Consumer Protection to reserve tickets to this event, (856) 384-6855.  The event is free of charge.  There are 200 tickets available.  Limit two per household.