At a recent forum highlighting ways to improve the quality of life for seniors and families in New York, Secretary Cesar A. Perales warned seniors about the potential dangers of identity theft and scams targeting seniors. The event, hosted by the New York StateWide Senior Action Council, took place on Wednesday October 12, 2011. The Council was celebrating its 40th year of advocacy and programming to meet the concerns of New York’s older residents.
The Secretary highlighted the importance of the Department of State’s newest unit, the Division of Consumer Protection (DCP). He focused his remarks on the topic of prevention, which he identified as one of DCP’s most important roles. Secretary Perales stressed that it is imperative that state government help protect our most vulnerable New Yorkers, including seniors, from falling victim to consumer frauds. In these tough economic times, criminals and fraudsters are more desperate than ever, and the Department is committed to providing consumers with valuable information that will help ensure they are not taken advantage of in the marketplace.
The Secretary also shared information about the toll-free “Senior Information Line” where seniors can call and access the latest consumer news to stay safe, maximize their independence and improve their daily lives. This month the message focuses on helping seniors understand the benefits of prepaying for funeral services. Past info line messages are archived on our website and include messages relating to medical identity theft and tips to avoid telemarketing fraud. To access the line, seniors should dial 1- 800-503-9000.