Schuyler marks consumer protection week

Mar 04, 2024 at 01:47 am by Observer-Review

FTC Consumer Protection Poster
WATKINS GLEN—Schuyler County officials are joining government agencies nationwide to commemorate National Consumer Protection Week.
The Schuyler County legislature has proclaimed the week of March 3 through March 9 as National Consumer Protection Week to provide information of interest to county consumers. In addition, the Schuyler County Office for the Aging and Schuyler County Attorney will be providing tips and resources relating to consumer protection information to protect residents from falling prey to scams, fraud, and identity theft.
This annual event marks a time when government agencies work together to promote consumer rights and educate the public on how to spot, report, and avoid becoming a victim of consumer fraud.
“Scams and frauds, including identity theft and phishing are a massive problem in society today,” Schuyler County Attorney Steven Getman said. “If consumers learn about the best practices to keep their finances secure, they have a less likelihood of becoming a statistic. Every year Americans lose billions of dollars in losses and hardship.”
According to Office for the Aging Director Tammy Waite, seniors are an especially vulnerable target for scammers.
“Almost anyone under the right circumstances can fall for a phony offer or promotion, however, older Americans are usually more susceptible than others,” Waite said. “Scammers use promises of large financial gains or sometimes even romantic relationships to lure victims in, only to manipulate them into giving their life savings away. They prey on our older citizens who are trusting, vulnerable and can sometimes unknowingly fall for a scam.”
The Federal Trade Commission received 5.2 million victim reports describing more than $8.8 billion in losses to fraud in 2022 compared to $6.1 billion in losses the year prior. In that same time frame, investment scam losses more than doubled from $1.8 billion in 2021 to $3.8 billion last year.
To help combat scams, during Consumer Protection Week the county will distribute free pamphlets with website links and consumer protection information. The materials will be available at the County Office for the Aging, in Montour Falls, and the County Attorney’s Office in Watkins Glen. Information is also online at the county attorney’s website:
The Schuyler County Office for the Aging’s mission statement is to advocate for, educate and assist the senior and disabled populations of Schuyler County to live in the most independent and integrated setting through community collaboration providing for well-being/health, security, dignity, autonomy and choice through innovative home and community-based services.  As director, Waite supervises and conducts social, educational, recreational, and health programs for senior citizens under the direction of the New York State Office for the Aging and the federal Administration for Community Living.
As County Attorney, Getman is the chief legal advisor for county government and responsible for the prosecution and defense of civil actions brought by and against the county, including civil adult protective cases.
A copy of the legislature’s resolution is available here:
Sections: NEWS 1