ROCHESTER – Lifespan, a Rochester-based nonprofit providing services for older adults and caregivers, is expanding elder fraud and scam prevention education and outreach services to counties in New York’s Southern Tier.

The agency works with law enforcement, allied professionals, and community groups to publicize scams targeting older adults and offers free assistance to fraud victims.

Lifespan’s fraud and scam outreach, education, and one-on-one victim assistance are now available in the following counties: Genesee, Livingston, Orleans, Wyoming, Yates, Seneca, Steuben, Schuyler and Chemung.

“Given the increasing sophistication of scams and fraud, Lifespan is pleased to bring additional education and outreach to the Southern Tier,” said Art Mason, director of the Upstate Elder Abuse Center at Lifespan.

Mason noted that Lifespan recently assisted a resident of Yates County, a widow, very lonely and isolated. She began a Facebook friendship with a man who claimed to be in the military. Through phone calls and texting, they formed a “friendship.” He said he wanted to visit her but did not have money for the trip. She sent him the money. He then claimed to have a medical emergency, so she sent more money to assist him. Finally, an alert bank teller contacted Lifespan after noticing the many, out-of-the ordinary withdrawals by a known customer. The woman lost $78,000. Lifespan stepped in with counseling, education and resources for her loneliness and isolation.

“Our focus is on prevention,” Mason said. “We want to provide education and outreach to help older adults avoid becoming victims.”

Lifespan provides free group presentations about avoiding scams and fraud. We also assist victims of any type of fraud/scams. Call Lifespan at (585) 244-8400 to schedule a presentation or ask about assistance.

For more information, go to www.lifespanrochester.org.

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