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Paula T. Dow,
Attorney General

Division of Consumer Affairs
Thomas R. Calcagni, Acting Director



For Immediate Release:
May 31, 2011
For Further Information Contact:
Jeff Lamm, 973-504-6327
Neal Buccino, 973-504-6327

NJ Division of Consumer Affairs Brings Fraud Awareness Message to 1,000 Central Jersey Seniors,
in Partnership with Trenton Diocese

NEWARK – Continuing its commitment to empower senior citizens with awareness to protect themselves against fraud, the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs in May provided Senior Fraud Education and Prevention (FedUp) seminars to more than 1,000 seniors in Burlington, Mercer, Monmouth and Ocean counties, through a partnership with the Ministry for Maturing Adults in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Trenton.

“By partnering with Consumer Affairs, the Diocese of Trenton’s Ministry for Maturing Adults has enabled more than 1,000 senior citizens to benefit from the peace of mind that comes from knowing how to recognize fraud and keep from being scammed,” Acting Director Thomas R. Calcagni said. “Scammers and snake oil salesmen are surprisingly creative, and unfortunately they see honest consumers as potential marks. We are helping seniors fight back with basic awareness and knowledge. We’re seeking to work with as many groups as possible to bring this message to seniors and all consumers across New Jersey.”

The FedUp seminars were conducted as part of four Education Days for Maturing Adults, held by the Diocese of Trenton and offered free of charge. A total of 355 seniors attended the May 4 presentation at Parish of the Resurrection Church in Delran; 200 attended the May 11 presentation at The Church of St. Gregory the Great in Hamilton Square; 340 attended the presentation at St. Luke Roman Catholic Church in Toms River; and 165 attended the presentation at St. Robert Bellarmine Parish in Freehold.

“The diocese holds its Spirituality/Education Days for Maturing Adults as a way to bring important messages to maturing adults 55 to 105, not just for their financial well-being, but for their emotional and spiritual lives as well,” said Janis Bell, Coordinator of Ministry for Maturing Adults at the Trenton Diocese. “The Consumer Affairs presentations were well-received and extremely helpful to the members of our community.”

Investigator Bill Plowman of the Division of Consumer Affairs conducted the FedUp seminars. Topics included:

  • The so-called “Grandparent Scam,” in which scammers use an urgent-sounding phone call to tell the victim their grandchild is in trouble and needs a money order for hundreds or even thousands of dollars

  • What to look for when hiring a home improvement contractor

  • Lottery scams, and others in which the victim is told they’ve won a prize

  • Identity theft

  • Telemarketing scams and fraudulent charities

Groups who wish to request a Division of Consumer Affairs speaker or seminar, free of charge, can call 973-504-6317 or visit The Division offers outreach programs to diverse groups including high school clubs and classes, parent-teacher organizations, senior citizens groups, religious organizations, civic groups, and others. Topics are tailored to meet the specific audience's needs. Current and past topics include Credit Repair, Identity Theft, the Senior Fraud Education and Prevention (FEDUP) Program, Hiring a Contractor, and Selling Precious Metals.


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