Lisbon Police to teach seniors how to avoid scams | #phishing | #scams | #cybersecurity | #infosecurity | #hacker


Frank Fucci, a resident of Lisbon Falls, said his 83-year-old father receives an average of 50 scam calls every day. He most often ends up sharing his personal information, sometimes even his social security number.

“He is old-fashioned and does not believe these phone calls are fake, so he keeps answering them,” said Fucci. “He doesn’t understand how the internet works today. It finally took me three years to make my parents understand not to answer these calls or share any information.”

A few years ago, his mother received a fake insurance company call where she was scammed by someone offering her an insurance plan that didn’t exist, added Fucci. “She accepted the offer, and from the following month, she was paying $1,000 out of her pocket,” said Fucci. “I do all the insurance for them, and I had to call the social security office and get the money back.”

To prevent such scams from harming others like Fucci’s parents, the Lisbon Police Department is conducting training sessions to educate them on how to identify fake calls and scams. The next training session will be held in January at Lisbon’s MTM Center. However, the program’s schedule is not finalized yet.

The department officials are also handing out small booklets containing information on identity theft.

Fucci said his parents were victims of an identity theft where $3,000 unauthorized transactions took place from their bank account. However, Fucci, said they could get the money back after speaking with the bank.

Fucci believes his parents are often victims of these scams because their names are in the phonebook.

According to a Federal Bureau of Investigation report, senior citizens over 60 years old lost nearly $1 billion to scams in 2020 in the U.S, up nearly $300 million from the previous year.

In Maine, people over the age of 60 collectively lost $2,471,681 in various scams last year.

The most common scams that seniors fall victim to are extortion, tech support, identity theft, phishing, spoofing and personal data breach.

Booklet prepared by the Lisbon Police Department to educate people about identity theft and other scams. Payal Gangishetti

Lisbon Police Chief Ryan McGee said they receive calls almost every day from people saying they have received scam calls or have lost a certain amount of money to scammers.

McGee added that they have had many families give out their social security and credit card numbers to strangers thinking they are either from the IRS or calling from the social security office.

“We have had people buy boats overseas, and later they found out that they never bought anything, they got scammed,” said McGee. “We want to make people aware of how identity theft happens.”

While a training session was held earlier this month for Lisbon seniors on how to stay away from scams, as part of the ‘Just Seniors’ outreach program, McGee said the program would be open to seniors from neighboring towns as well.

Fucci said it is important to organize these training sessions because, most often, seniors do not agree with their family members when they try to provide information about scams, but he feels they might take it seriously when information comes from these offices.


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