For Immediate Release
Tuesday, June 28, 2016
Contact: John Guilfoil
Email: [email protected]
Bedford Police Work with Middlesex Sheriff’s Office to Alert Seniors About Common Scams
BEDFORD — Chief Robert Bongiorno and Middlesex Sheriff Peter J. Koutoujian announce that the Bedford Police Department and the Sheriff’s Office hosted a meeting with seniors last week to go over new and evolving scams in the community.
The event was at the Carleton-Willard Villages in Bedford on Thursday, June 23 and was part of the Middlesex Sheriff’s Office L.E.A.R.N. (Law Enforcement And Residents Networking) Program. The L.E.A.R.N. Program focuses on educating and informing the public through collaboration, and engaging community members in dialogue around public safety matters.
“Those who would steal our hard-earned money are becoming more advanced in their methods,” warned Sheriff Koutoujian. “It used to be scams focused on false promises of riches. Now they focus on intimidation and threats. No one, most especially our seniors, should be subject to this type of harassment.”
This was Bedford’s first L.E.A.R.N. event, with more than 70 people in attendance.
“We were pleased to see so many residents come out for this meeting to interact with police and learn about a prevalent issue affecting our town,” Chief Bongiorno said. “Community events like this allow us to not only provide residents with important information, but to learn from our community members as well. Thank you to the Middlesex Sheriff’s Office for including us on this initiative.”
Intimidation-based scams are on the rise in Middlesex County and throughout the country. The FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) received 269,422 complaints in 2014, with victims reporting over $800 million dollars in losses. In Massachusetts – according to IC3 – exactly 1,000 seniors filed scam complaints in 2014. Their reported losses totaled over $1.5 million dollars, or $1,500 per senior.
“This is an area where we must all be vigilant,” Sheriff Koutoujian said. “Unfortunately, a scammer can make 100 calls a day and only needs to be successful once to make his payday. Citizens have to be successful every single time in order to avoid a significant loss.”