Cyber Security Scam Awareness Programs

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Starting on September 30, a series of programs titled SCAMS (Seniors, Children, Adults Maintaining Safety) are being presented to help better identify and understand how to avoid becoming a target of cyber security scams. The series will include information applicable to all ages of residents within the community.

The Federal Trade Commission received more than 2.1 million fraud reports from consumers in 2020. Imposter scams remain the most common type of fraud reported to the agency.

Online shopping was the second-most common fraud category reported by consumers. Internet services (prizes, sweepstakes and lotteries), land telephone and mobile services rounded out the top five fraud categories.

Consumers reported losing more than $3.3 billion to fraud in 2020, up from $1.8 billion in 2019. Nearly $1.2 billion of losses reported last year were due to imposter scams, while online shopping accounted for about $246 million in reported losses from consumers.

The series of programs are a collaborate effort by Janet Frechette, MSW (Suffield Community Aid/SCA), Garrett Pinder (Kent Memorial Library Director), LT. Ryan Burell (Suffield Police), Paula Pascoe (Director, Suffield Senior Center), Kate Powers (Suffield Youth services) and Kerry O’Brien (Director, Suffield Housing Authority). Windsor Federal (Julio Figueroa) is a sponsor for the event.

On September 30, at 6:30 p.m. Robin Saunders, Ph.D., will start off our programs. Dr. Saunders is an accomplished educator and entrepreneur with more than 30 years of teaching experience and bringing more than 25 years of successful business management to Bay Path University, and a nationally recognized speaker on Cybersecurity, Cybersecurity and Healthcare, Artificial Intelligence, and Impact of Converging Technologies and its Consequences. Cybersecurity and education are her passions and and are her websites.

The programs will be held at the Town Hall Conference Room. Access online (live) the day/time of the event will also be available. The library hopes to archive the series, making them available at a future date for those unable to attend/view on the day of the program. Each program will run approximately 60-90 minutes (presentation and Q&A).

The next programs are tentatively scheduled for October 14, October 28 and November 11. On December 2, there is a tentative panel discussion planned. Information regarding the program’s dates and speakers, as well as registration for these events and any COVID-19 State mandates/protocols that may be required at the time of an event can be found on the Town of Suffield Facebook page. You can also contact the Suffield Public Library or Suffield Community Aid for additional information/updates.

For anyone interested, there are free brochures titled “Pass it On” available. They are developed by the Federal Trade Commission, containing resources, some of which will be discussed in the Series. The brochures will be available at Suffield Senior Center, Youth Services and Suffield Community Aid. They will also be available at Suffield on the Green Sponsor Booths. (Suffield Police Department, Suffield Community Aid, Town of Suffield).

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