United Senior Citizens meet with Sheriff Gerace

Submitted Photo Vice President Linda Riley, President Mary Matteson, Sheriff Joseph Gerace, Greeter Genevieve Ludemann and Treasurer Evonne Hennebery.

Members of the United Senior Citizens met July 9 with Genevieve Ludemann greeting and President Mary Matteson leading the group in the Pledge of Allegiance and “God Bless America.” Member Robin Carr offered the invocation and moment of silence for deceased members Linda Cobb, Mayme Joy and Jane Walsh.

Not only did members have a delicious lunch of chicken caprese, tossed and pasta salads, green beans, roll and key lime pie dessert, but a profound lesson on scams was given by Chautauqua County Sheriff Joseph Gerace. The audience learned that 500 billion dollars is absorbed internationally by unwitting victims via scams and these scams are successful because of four things: love, fear, hope and greed. Although some scams have had a long history (Nigerian 419), there are plenty to be aware of. The following are all scams: ransomware, grandparent scam, money overpayment scam, fake Craigslist scam, mystery shopper scam, fake Microsoft and Apple tech support scams, jury duty scams, Lottery and sweepstakes scams, inheritance scams, contractor scams, phishing scams, and the fastest growing crime in America: identity theft scams. Sheriff Gerace reminded the audience the IRS, police and Sheriff’s departments never solicit through the phone but use mail for notification and fund-raising. Sheriff Gerace also reminded people they can call the Do Not Call Registry at 1 – 888-382 - 1222 to eliminate USA phone solicitations. This only addresses USA numbers and doesn’t apply to foreign company numbers. Needless to say 31 members grasped the message “don’t be a victim – use education” being confident and better equipped to avoid being “scammed.” Sheriff Gerace proceeded to inform the group of the Smart 911 system that helps those in emergency situations expedite quickly. It’s mobile and has no fee. Set-up can be done at: www.smart911.com

After Sheriff Gerace took leave, callers were thanked: Josie Wierczynski, Linda Riley, Nancy Niebel and Pat Ebert. July birthdays noted were: Nicholas Andin, Kathy Damiano, Elaine Frederickson, David Lewandowski, Frederick Summerton, Ken Woolstrum and Lester Fuller. Joe Greco Jr. did great work selling raffle tickets and winnings were welcomed by Mary Edwards, Carr and new member Thelma Saden. In the absence of joke teller Russell Dalby, one was recited by Carr, given to her by Ludemann. Bingo was played afterward, called by Lucy Saeli and Rosemary Mancuso.

Members are reminded that dues are paid in accordance with the time frame formation of the organization. Any questions contact the Treasurer, Evonne Hennebery.

The next meeting will take place on Monday, Aug. 13 at noon at the Fredonia Beaver Club, 64 Prospect St.. Picnic lunch will be hamburgers, Italian sausage with peppers and onions, rolls, potato salad, tossed salad, baked beans and fruit salad for dessert. To reserve lunch: $10 per member and $11. per guest, send check made out to United Senior Citizens to Evonne Hennebery, PO Box 706, 44 East Fifth St., Dunkirk, NY 14048 by Aug. 6. United Senior Citizens reminds the public to display their American Flag on July 27 (National Korean War Veterans Armistice Day), the day in 1953 the Korean War ended.