Seniors vs. Crimes Offices Open to Help Residents Avoid Storm-Related Scams
Aug 25, 2008
Office of the Attorney General--August 25, 2008
TALLAHASSEE, FL – Attorney General Bill McCollum today announced that his Seniors vs. Crime offices are reopening throughout the state to help residents avoid storm-related scams. The offices, staffed by volunteer Senior Sleuths, are often able to step in when residents are having problems with potential scams, particularly in the clean-up and repair in the aftermath of Tropical Storm Fay.
“The Senior Sleuths are an excellent example of citizens proactively working to protect fellow Floridians from scams,” said Attorney General Bill McCollum.
The Attorney General noted that the Seniors vs. Crime groups are often so effective in their efforts to assist Floridians that their very presence can deter scammers and con artists. After tornadoes swept through Central Florida in 2006, the local Senior Sleuths hit the ground and walked the affected areas, questioning any contractors or repairmen who were in the area and offering work to ensure that they had the proper licensure and were there to conduct legitimate business. As a result, very few residents reported having difficulties with unlicensed contractors and repair services.
More information about the Seniors vs. Crime offices is available online at http://www.seniorsvscrime.com, but specifically, the following offices have reported their openings and availability:
– The Ponte Vedra Branch Office in St. Johns County is open for regular business.
– The Deland Branch Office in Volusia County embedded in the Deland Police Department is expected to open today.
– Altamonte Office in Seminole County is open for business and at this point has only received complaints about roofers.
– The Palatka Office in Putnam County, the Kissimmee Branch in Osceola County, and the South Daytona Office in Volusia County will be open as usual.
Seniors vs. Crime started nearly 20 years ago in partnership with AARP. Seniors and retired citizens involved in the program help educate Floridians about consumer-related fraud and conduct seminars on how seniors can protect themselves from becoming crime victims. Last year, Seniors vs. Crime received more than 2,485 cases and made 118 criminal referrals, resulting in 10 arrests. Senior Sleuths have recovered more than $6.6 million for seniors since 2001.