The Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders is proud to support the Anti-Fraud Toolkit, a new online information hub created by the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs to help consumers protect themselves against fraud and scams. The Toolkit includes an email alert network for sharing up-to-date news about the latest fraud incidents in New Jersey, especially those affecting seniors.

“The new Anti-Fraud Toolkit helps seniors and their families stop scammers before they get started,” said Freeholder Chairman Bruce H. Bergen. “Professionals, volunteers and caregivers who work with seniors in Union County can also share the Toolkit with their clients and help spread the word about emerging scams.” 

The Anti-Fraud Toolkit includes downloadable tip sheets in English and Spanish on avoiding consumer fraud, with a focus on scams that target seniors.

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The guidance includes how to avoid computer scams, phone scams, and common door-to-door scams involving handyman work, home security systems, package deliveries, cable hookups and charitable solicitations.

“Fraud is a crime that preys upon lack of knowledge and unfamiliarity with the law,” said Freeholder Angel G. Estrada, who chairs the Freeholder Board’s Public Safety Committee. “The new Toolkit will help to level the playing field and enable consumers to protect themselves.”

The Toolkit also includes the new Real-Time Fraud Alerts email network. Union County residents can sign up to receive emails from the network. It is designed to ensure that seniors, their families, and those who work with seniors get quick, accurate information about new scams.

“The Union County Office of Consumer Affairs will be using the Real-Time Fraud Alert network to help keep our seniors aware and informed, and I encourage municipal agencies to sign up as well,” said Bergen.

The New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs is currently reporting three scams on the Real-Time Fraud Alerts network:

·         Phony charity scams are asking for donations for the victims of the Orlando shooting. Before donating, Union County residents can verify the legal status of a charity by calling the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs Charities Hotline at 973-504-6215.

·         Fraudulent out-of-state home improvement contractors have been targeting residents in Ocean County. To ensure that a contractor has the necessary New Jersey permits, call the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs Division at 800- 242-5846.

·         Wendy’s Restaurants has reported a possible credit card breach nationwide and in New Jersey. To see the locations of affected restaurants and guidance on protecting your information visitwendys.com.

To find out more about the Anti-Fraud Toolkit and to sign up for the Real-Time Fraud Alerts email network visit the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs at FightingFraud.nj.gov.

Union County residents are also encouraged to report possible frauds and scams to the Union County Office of Consumer Affairs. To file a complaint online visit ucnj.org/public-safety or call 908-654-9840.

Another protective measure is to ensure that sensitive personal documents are shredded and securely disposed. Union County sponsors a regular series of free, secure mobile paper events in various municipalities throughout the spring, summer and fall. For a complete schedule visitucnj.org/recycling.