ROCHESTER — City Manager Blaine Cox and Mayor Caroline McCarley wish to provide regular updates to the community regarding the City’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic as officials continue to monitor the crisis locally and nationally.
COVID-19 Related Scams
Residents are reminded to remain vigilant of potential scams related to COVID-19, particularly those that may be targeting elderly residents in the community.
Some of the scams the New Hampshire Attorney General’s Office has identified related to the COVID-19 pandemic are:
- Social Security Administration (SSA) scams, where the caller tells a recipient that his or her benefits will be interrupted due to office closures unless he or she provides personal information, such as a social security or bank account number. Closures have not interrupted receipt of benefits and the SSA will never call a recipient unexpectedly and ask for personal information over the telephone.
- Medical scams, where a scammer may pretend to be a family member (often a grandchild) and say he or she needs money in the form of gift cards or cash to help cover the medical costs for COVID-19 treatments.
- Fake test kits, medicines, or vaccinations for COVID-19. These offers may be made by phone, email or in person. At this time, testing can only be done by medical professionals, and no vaccines, prescriptions or over-the-counter products are available to treat or cure COVID-19.
- Stimulus benefits scams, where an individual claims to work for federal agencies, such as the Internal Revenue Service, and that they are in need of the aging adult’s personal identifying information in order to send out the stimulus payment. No federal agency is going to call, text, or e-mail requesting social security, banking, or any other personal identifying information. If you receive this type of call, hang up immediately and do not hit any buttons for more information. If you receive this type of text or email, delete it immediately and do not click any links.
- COVID-19 charity or charitable organization scams, where the caller claims to be raising money for a variety of causes related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Donate only to charities that you know and trust and only after you independently verify that the payment/donation system is safe and secure.
The Attorney General’s Office has provided the following guidance to help protect residents against scams:
- Watch out for high-priced or low-quality products; report any retailers that inflate prices on products like hand sanitizer and face masks.
- Beware of false and misleading information being spread online. Use reputable sources such as the World Health Organization, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services.
- For those who care for an aging parent or other adult, practice added vigilance and don’t give out the personal, identifiable information of an aging adult without verifying who the recipient is.
- While maintaining appropriate social distancing and adhering to the Emergency Orders in place in New Hampshire, check in with aging friends and relatives by phone or other electronic means.
- Ask aging friends and relatives about what they are doing, who they have heard from, and if they need supplies or assistance.
- Help any aging adult if and when there is a reasonable belief that they have fallen victim to a scam.
If anyone has questions or feels like they have been victimized, they are encouraged to call the Rochester Police Department at 603-330-7127.
Anyone receiving any scam offers or solicitations is encouraged to make a report to the New Hampshire Consumer Protection Hotline by calling 1-888-468-4454, emailing [email protected] or through their online portal at www.doj.nh.gov/consumer/complaints/.
Scams can also be reported to National Center for Disaster Fraud (NCDF) by calling 1-866-720-5721 or [email protected]. Members of the public can also contact the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) by visiting www.IC3.gov.
Absentee Ballots Available for Upcoming Presidential Primary and General Election
On Friday, April 10, Secretary of State William Gardner and Attorney General Gordon MacDonald announced that all eligible voters will be able to use absentee ballots for the upcoming September Primary and November General Elections.
Absentee ballot applications can be found here. Completed applications can be mailed to: City Clerk’s Office, 31 Wakefield St., Rochester, NH 03867.Once the application is processed, ballots will be sent to the resident’s home or mailing address and must be returned to the City Clerk’s Office.
More information about the upcoming elections will be posted on the City’s website here.
For questions about voting, please contact the city clerk’s office at 603-332-2130 or [email protected].