News Department

Morris County Prosecutor’s Office holds informative seminar for seniors about how to avoid scams

MORRIS TOWNSHIP, NJ (Morris County) – Members of the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office held a seminar for seniors at the Morris Township Municipal Building on Dec. 13 informing the public about how to protect yourself from would-be scammers.

The session was conducted by Assistant Prosecutor Christine Lopez and Detective Ryan Thomas, in keeping with the MCPO’s CAREs (Crimes Against Retired & Elderly) program. Morris Township Sgt. Derek Adair was also in attendance.

Attendees learned how to be better prepared to protect their money through retirement by being aware of how scammers operate. It is imperative for the public to report being the victim of scammers as soon as possible, as quick action increases the likelihood of recovery and allows law enforcement to investigate, Det. Thomas said.

AP Lopez said there is an unfortunate stigma for elderly victims, as many feel embarrassed being victimized or afraid of losing their financial independence.

Presenters demonstrated how to identify fraudulent phone calls, text messages, and e-mails, and explained the role AI and social media play into scams. Scammers prey on their victims’ emotions, pretending to be a grandchild in distress or claiming your computer has a virus.

Some of the most notable examples involve fake bank alerts, alleged prizes requiring down payment, fraudulent package tracking links, scam investment offers, alleged healthcare or funeral bills, romance scams, and property scams.

Residents can check their property’s deed at the County Clerk’s Office, or sign up for the Morris County Property Alert Service by visiting

How to protect yourself:

  • Check your financial statements often.
  • Check privacy settings on your social media accounts.
  • If you receive a call requesting money allegedly on behalf of a grandchild, call your grandchild first to verify the emergency.
  • Have a safe word in place to avoid AI voice scams.
  • If someone claims to be a police officer, call the relevant law enforcement agency to verify.
  • Don’t volunteer personal information.
  • Don’t feel rushed, don’t panic.
  • Don’t send cash, wire money, or provide numbers for gift cards. These are difficult to trace payments.
  • Legitimate tech support people do not call or email you seeking access to your computer out of the blue.

Following the formal presentation, attendees were able to ask questions of the presenters.

So far this year, the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office has held preventative seminars for seniors in Chatham Township, Denville, Madison, and Morris Township/Morristown.

To report elder abuse for Morris County residents, call 973-326-7282.

“It is despicable that criminals would prey on our vulnerable seniors. The MCPO’s goal is to fight this multi-billion dollar scourge by enabling seniors to successfully identify would-be scammers, along with vigorous investigation and prosecution whenever possible,” Morris County Prosecutor Robert J. Carroll said.

Jay Edwards

Born and raised in Northwest NJ, Jay has a degree in Communications and has had a life-long interest in local radio and various styles of music. Jay has held numerous jobs over the years such as stunt car driver, bartender, voice-over artist, traffic reporter (award winning), NY Yankee maintenance crewmember and peanut farm worker. His hobbies include mountain climbing, snowmobiling, cooking, performing stand-up comedy and he is an avid squirrel watcher. Jay has been a guest on America’s Morning Headquarters,program on The Weather Channel, and was interviewed by Sam Champion.

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