Mansfield state police trooper helps protect seniors from scams

Mansfield state police trooper helps protect seniors from scams (WFSB)

After taking dozens of reports from people who had lost money, a local police force decided to set up classes to educate senior citizens on scams.

Seniors were learning hands-on what their Mansfield resident state troopers do at work.

"I've come away with it with a different perspective,” Kevin O'Shea, who was taking class, said.

It's part of a six week series led by Sgt. Rich Cournoyer.

He put the program together after he started seeing dozens of senior citizens losing money to scammers.

"I've had too many walk in the office and just fall victim to partial life savings, big amounts of money that maybe someday we can catch the person,” Cournoyer said. “But, I don't know if I could ever get their money back for them."

Cournoyer said the scammers prey on resident's vulnerabilities to get them to pay up.

"They're just scaring these people, telling them if you don't you're going to go to jail,” Cournoyer said.

"We constantly get phone calls here, and a lot of people I think answer the phone,” Judy Lester, who was taking class, said.

Like most people, Lester said she has heard the warnings on scammers, but also, has heard it happening to neighbors.

"I do know people here that have gotten close calls on scams,” Lester said. “But, they were wise enough to contact the resident state troopers right away."

That's exactly what Cournoyer wants them to do, if something doesn't seem right, he said check and check again.

Cournoyer said he believes the more familiar residents are with their local police force, the more comfortable they'll feel to give them a call before they give money away.

Copyright 2016 WFSB (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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