February 12, 2015

CEA Meeting Minutes from Feb. 3

• Announcements
o Next meeting will be a panel on capacity issues (legal vs. medical)
o 2 upcoming SAFE Trainings in the community
• Guest Speakers: Allen Raines and Brenden Donlon from the Buffalo FBI Economic Crimes Division
o Their focus is on mail and wire crimes
 Need multiple victims in order for them to get involved
• Urge individuals to get in touch with their local law enforcement offices and/or DA’s office
 Will usually get involved if the case reaches a certain monetary threshold
o Discussion about Nigerian and Jamaican lottery schemes
 It is difficult to track these cases when the money leaves the country
• Green Dot cards and Western Union make the money nearly impossible to track due to fake names, fake accounts, etc.
 The FBI will send the information they have on a case to one of their affiliated offices overseas and that office will get in touch with the local law enforcement. It is rare to get support from that local law enforcement
o Discussion about mystery shopper schemes
 Scammers send a fraudulent check with real bank account information from a random company to a person and tell that person to cash the check, send them a certain amount of money back and then go shopping with the rest. Businesses catch the fraudulent transaction from their account at the end of the month and then take action, but the money is already gone
o Discussion about investment fraud cases
 FBI is the last stop for these victims because they have tried everything to get their money back
• Contact is made between victim and FBI about 3-4 years after the fraud started
 These scammers thrive on the trust they have established with their victim
• Scammers have found something in common and begin to exploit
 2 buzz phrases that signal a scam: “Guaranteed returns” and “No risk”
o Discussion about charity scams
 These usually arise after any kind of disaster (local, national, international, etc.)
o Discussion about home repair schemes
 People calling to set up services or people who go door to door
o Discussion about debt collection schemes
 Illegal or fake representation of a legitimate business
 Scammers call family members to collect on debt for a person
 The Attorney General’s office is involved with these cases
o Utility bill fraud
 Scammers call individuals claiming they have an outstanding bill that must be paid or they will lose service
o How to protect yourself
 Only give out information to people if you are initiating the call
 Give a little pushback when people call you asking for information
 Try to be educated and educate others about the scams that are out there
 Check credit card reports at least once a year
• Put a fraud alert on your credit
 Change phone numbers, emails and bank accounts if you have ever been victimized
 Report an internet scam on the www.ic3.gov website
• This is operated by the FBI and tracks complaints from all over the world and tries to match up victims to get enough cases so the FBI can refer those cases to the proper entity that can take action
 The FTC.gov website has wonderful information about how to protect yourself and what to do if something happens
o Discussion about filing a police report for identity theft
 This is usually a good idea to protect yourself, but make sure you check with your local law enforcement about their protocol for investigations and arrests when it comes to identity theft
o Closing remarks
 The Alzheimer’s Association’s Dementia Care Symposium will be held on Friday, April 17th from 8am-3:30pm
• Call the office for more information
 Next meeting is March 3rd at 9am