November 13, 2017

November Meeting Minutes

- Updates
- Introductions

- Shelley Carosella, US Postal Inspector
   o Speaking about the role of postal inspectors in combatting foreign lottery fraud
   o People anywhere in the US are getting scammed, with most scams originating in Jamaica West Indies
   o The scam usually starts with a phone call saying you won lottery
   o Shelley has intercepted 5 fraud cases in the mail since October
   o PSA started about 3 years ago to talk about fraud and lottery scams- provided to over 100 news networks as prevention method

   o Beginning of scam:
      The person will receive something in mail
      • Directions say to put their phone number and name on it and send it back
      • That’s how they get a number to call and they think you will fall for the scam
      Then the person will receive a phone call
      • Person is told they have to pay taxes, storage fee, shipping fees, holding fees etc. before they can receive the money
      • During this call, and other calls, the scammers are learning all kinds of info and sizing the caller up
      As the person pays, they become invested and start building trust with the scammer
      The scammers will continue to learn what motivates the person and everything about them
      • The person will then likely be put on a sucker list which contains all important details of people
      It is typically not easy for the person to stop because they have their money tied up and they want to win
      Scammers use fake names, burner phones, scripts, minimize value of money, urgency of   timeframe

   o What does it look like in a victim’s home/ Red Flags
       Handwritten notes with different area codes and generic names
       Phone calls constantly
       Sweepstakes mail piles
       Express mailing supplies
       Western Union money gram receipts
       Bank withdrawal slips
       Unpaid notices and bills
       Talk about winning lotteries, Mercedes
       Secretive, agitated when asked about winnings

   o When money is gone…
       Depleted savings and retirement
       Borrow from family and friends
       Home equity loan
       Cash in life insurance
       Scammers will turn victims into a mule
        • -Receive money from other older adults and send it out

   o 1 time interventions usually do not work
      Intercept money and return it
      Then set up support

   o Tips to help clients and other older adults
      Change phone number
      • If the scammer’s contact with the person has been stopped for some reason, they have been known to call the police for welfare checks in order to try to regain contact with older person
      Stop live mail by visiting post office
      Gather all evidence in the home and preserve it and hand over copies to law enforcement
      Change bank account
      Credit report
      Report the fraud to or USPS 1-877-876-2455
        o Investigators have access to the FTC database so they can build the victim base to support case
       Blocking future wire transfers
        o Can contact Western Union to request “internal deny”
       Western Union clerks can ask the older adults if they know the person you are mailing to
       Can try to use copy of complaint form for Medicaid purposes, if the person has been sanctioned, to see if they would accept it

   o Enforcement Obstacles
      Lack of jurisdiction- foreign country
      Lack of resources- target rich environment
      Extradition requirements- 2 eye witnesses needed
      Use of elder US victims as mules to avoid prosecution

   o Check out the YouTube Segment-Just Hang Up by Dan Rather

- Community Member, Mary Ellen Sanfinppo spoke about grandparent alienation. If you are interested in connecting with her to discuss, she can be reached at 932-7722

- Murder Suicides in Older Couples
- Crisis Services has moved to their new location at 100 River Rock Drive, Buffalo
- Next meeting is December 5, 2017 at 100 James E. Casey Drive, Buffalo