Greenwich Shines Spotlight On Fraud Prevention To Educate Seniors

  • Comment
Patrolman Brian Grabinski of the Bridgeport Police Department's Horse Patrol strides between a crowd at Greenwich Town Hall during the Uniform Fashion Show to educate seniors on the dangers of fraud and identity theft.
Patrolman Brian Grabinski of the Bridgeport Police Department's Horse Patrol strides between a crowd at Greenwich Town Hall during the Uniform Fashion Show to educate seniors on the dangers of fraud and identity theft. Photo Credit: Frank MacEachern

GREENWICH, Conn. -- There was a fashion show Wednesday in Greenwich Town Hall -- but the models weren’t leggy young beauties sporting the latest in haute couture.

Instead, in a packed Meeting Room, about three-dozen police officers, government workers and utility employees paraded down an aisle as part of an education effort for seniors to prevent them from being the victims of fraudsters.

The Uniform Fashion Show was part of Older Americans Month.

Although the show featured lots of laughs as awkward police officers and others walked down a center aisle, it had a serious message that seniors need to protect themselves from fraud.

Part of the message was that utility company employees, police officers, firefighters and bank officials follow regular procedures. Seniors should be cautious in how they deal with someone who claims to be an official and uses pressure to demand money.

In many cases, fraudsters will use any means to separate their victims from their money, said Greenwich Police Department Detective Mark Solomon.

“I will give you the best tip here today: Never trust an incoming phone call,” Solomon said. He warned his audience that a fraudster can easily change the phone number to make it seem like the call is coming from a financial institution.

For the last few years, Solomon said he has worked with a financial crime task force led by the Secret Service to combat scams on seniors.

Fraudsters will call seniors to try to trick them into sending money by claiming, among other ruses, that a family member is in legal trouble and needs money immediately, Fairfield Police Department Chief Gary MacNamara said.

MacNamara urged his listeners to not fall for the scam and instead call someone they trust.

“If you are confused and scared take a pause and call someone,” he said.

Anyone who receives a call from someone purporting to be from a bank or another institution demanding money immediately should simply hang up the telephone, MacNamara said.

“The FBI does not call you to threaten you, the gas company does not call you and threaten you,” he said.

In closing the event, First Selectman Peter Tesei read a proclamation that named May as Older Americans Month.

“This is a great program and a wonderful idea,” Tesei said about the event.

  • Comment

Comments