By Allison Collins
SIDNEY – The Rotary Club of Sidney welcomed Sidney Police Chief Jan Gorshack as featured speaker at its Friday, Jan. 5 meeting.
Discussing the prevalence of online and telephone scams, particularly this time of year, Gorshack offered cautionary tips on how to avoid falling prey to scammers and con artists. Gorshack’s presentation followed a public service announcement issued Dec. 29 by the Delaware County Sheriff’s Office regarding a local uptick in such situations.
Gorshack underscored the pervasiveness of the problem, saying that the size and remoteness of a town or village, such as Sidney, does not preclude its citizens from national and international scams.
Gorshack said, “It happens here. It happens locally. It’s happening now.” He cited recent computer hacking cases in Sidney and door-to-door robberies couched in scamming attempts made in nearby Delaware County towns.
“Be smart. Be safe. Question everything,” Gorshack implored. “Don’t trust everybody, because they’ll run you in circles and they’re very, very convincing.”
The village police chief emphasized that major home service, finance, banking and software companies, such as NYSEG, the Internal Revenue Service, MBT Bank, sidney federal credit union and Microsoft, will not call or contact individuals requesting personal information.
“They’re not going to call and let you know you have a virus,” Gorshack said of the latter. “And NYSEG will not send someone to collect money.”