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Paula T. Dow,
Attorney General

Division of Consumer Affairs
Thomas R. Calcagni, Acting Director

   
For Immediate Release:
February 22, 2011

For Further Information Contact:
Jeff Lamm, 973-504-6327
Neal Buccino, 973-504-6327

Seniors Learn to Prevent Fraud, Protect Their Consumer Rights at "FedUp" Presentation Hosted by NJ Division of Consumer Affairs

LITTLE FALLS - With an email or postcard, a scammer tells a senior citizen that he or she has won a prize but needs to send in money to pay processing fees or local taxes.

Using personal information gathered from a social networking website, someone calls a grandmother and pretends to be her grandchild, claiming to be in trouble while on vacation in Canada and in desperate need to have the grandparent send money via Western Union.

An unregistered contractor shows up at a house and offers a special deal because he is supposedly working in the neighborhood and has extra materials to do a job.

Approximately 100 senior citizens learned to protect themselves against these and other forms of fraud today, at a "FedUp- Senior Fraud Education & Protection Program" presentation held by the State Division of Consumer Affairs and Little Falls municipal officials. The two-hour presentation took place at the Little Falls Civic Center.

"FedUp helps seniors empower themselves against those who seek to victimize them, devalue their standard of living, and swindle them out of hard-earned money. The Division of Consumer Affairs is here to help seniors fight back. With basic awareness, detailed information, and easy-to-follow tips, we are helping New Jersey's seniors become smart, self-protected consumers," Thomas R. Calcagni, Acting Director of the State Division of Consumer Affairs, said.

The Division of Consumer Affairs developed FedUp and holds seminars across New Jersey for senior citizens groups. The program includes a formal video presentation, and an extensive question and answer period for attendees with State consumer protection experts. Attendees are given a 70-page booklet with useful tips for quick future reference.

Topics addressed in the FedUp program include:

  • How to select and hire a home improvement contractor;
  • How to avoid telemarketing and mail fraud;
  • How to research a charity before giving;
  • How to avoid identity theft, and steps to take if someone has become a victim of identity theft; and
  • How to avoid investment fraud.

The speakers at today's event included Acting Director Calcagni; Little Falls Mayor Michael DeFrancisci; Margaret "Peggy" Anastos of the State Division of Consumer Affairs; Little Falls Chief of Police John Dmuchowski; and Little Falls Police Sergeant James A. Minnella.

More information about FedUp is available at the Division of Consumer Affairs website, http://www.nj.gov/oag/ca/fedup/. Groups interested in requesting a FedUp presentation can call Margaret "Peggy" Anastos of the State Division of Consumer Affairs at 973-504-6241.

The State Division of Consumer Affairs can be contacted through its web site, www.NJConsumerAffairs.gov or by calling 1-800-242-5846 (toll-free within N.J.) or 973-504-6200.

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