The workshop was led by Todd Kossow, director of the Federal Trade Commission’s Midwest Region. Kossow was joined by Jeremy Leder of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service; Richard Gaskins of the IRS Criminal Investigations office; Michelle Reinen from the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection; and Lisa Schiller, director of investigations from the Better Business Bureau.
The panelists addressed charity fraud, fraud against veterans, various payment requests, robocalls, home repair fraud and identity theft issues.
“It’s just real important to stay on top of what is going on in the world of identity theft,” Jeanie Klokow of Racine said of her decision to attend the workshop. “It’s a scary time. The robo calls are getting quite sophisticated.”
Marcia Sieckman, also of Racine, said it is difficult to discern what is a scam and what is not. She said she has received scam calls that her Social Security number was associated with criminal activity and another offering computer support.
“You just don’t know who to trust and what to trust,” Sieckman said.
Steil said both he and his grandmother have received calls from those attempting to orchestrate a scam.
“It affects everybody,” Steil said. “I had dinner last night with my grandmother who is 95. … She got a scam call yesterday that said her oldest grandson — that would be me — was arrested and she needed to send $1,000 right away.”