Issues: Consumer Protection

State Senator Peralta Targets 21st Century Gang Crime

With holiday shopping bills coming due, State Senator Jose Peralta is cautioning consumers to keep an eye out for unauthorized or suspicious transactions on their bank and credit card statements and is introducing legislation to help law enforcement crack down on “21st Century” organized crime activity.

 Identity theft and the confiscation of personal information, such as bank PINs, are not "seasonal" crimes, but they occur with greater frequency during periods of increased financial activity—like the Christmas shopping season.

 Gangs are becoming more involved in these and other white-collar crimes, such as bank fraud, credit card fraud, money laundering, counterfeiting and mortgage fraud, according to the FBI's National Gang Intelligence Center, which identifies New York and Florida as the twin epicenters of this troubling new development in organized crime.

“Despite the increasing prominence of these crimes, the law used in New York to prosecute gangs and organized crime organizations does not include a wide variety of cyber and identity crimes,” Senator Peralta said.  “That’s not surprising considering that when the Enterprise Corruption Statute was passed in 1986, pagers were the cutting-edge personal technology of the day and the identity theft law did not even exist.”

Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown, who worked closely with Senator Peralta in drafting the legislation, said, “Those committing the crimes of identity theft are well-organized enterprises that inflict economic harm on a global scale, often leaving multiple victims and significant financial losses in their wake. My office has utilized the enterprise corruption statute in the past to pursue justice against those committing these crimes and this legislative fix to strengthen the law will allow us to do that more efficiently. I thank Senator Peralta for his leadership in introducing this legislation and for recognizing that the law must keep pace with emerging technology.”

Including crimes such as identity theft in the Enterprise Corruption Statute would also save the state money by eliminating duplicative legal proceedings, potentially saving hundreds of thousands of dollars per case.

When a defendant is charged with the crime of enterprise corruption by committing larceny through identity theft, for example, current law requires the defendant be indicted twice for the same underlying actions—one indictment for enterprise corruption and larceny and a second indictment for the identity theft charges.

In turn, a defendant must also be arraigned twice, have bail set twice and have two sets of motions.  In the end, a defendant is tried for the same conduct not once, but twice.

In addition to being needlessly costly to the state, the current law is inequitable to defendants, who also face duplicative costs stemming from needing to pay two retainers to defense counsel.

Here’s a small sampling of high-profile cases of new-age organized crime activity: U.S. Says Ring Stole 160 Million Credit Card Numbers; an identity theft ring spearheaded by the Crips, Bloods and a Brooklyn-based gang called the Outlaws stole more than $2 million from New York charities;  a cyber-theft of 10 million credit and debit card records was attributed to a New York City based street gang with ties to Central America; a Romanian man with ties to organized crime was charged with stealing at least $1.5 million by installing "skimmer" devices at ATM machines across New York City and Long Island.

“The bill would bring the law into the 21st Century,” Senator Peralta said.  “And it would make it easier for police and prosecutors to go after gangs and organized crime syndicates, in addition to saving the state money.”

-30-

December 10, 2013
Read more...

State Leaders Developing Cybercrime Policies

By RICHARD MOODY, Legislative Gazette, December 02, 2013

December 10, 2013
Read more...

Senator Carlucci & NYS Department of State Offers Consumers Holiday Shopping Tips

NEW YORK DEPARTMENT OF STATE’S DIVISION OF CONSUMER PROTECTION REVIEWS TOP-FIVE SHOPPING COMPLAINTS 

DURING HOLIDAY SEASON

November 27, 2013
Read more...

Helpful Holiday Safety And Shopping Tips

     To help make this holiday season as safe and enjoyable as possible, I put together this holiday safety section to help you protect your family, your home and your identity during this busy season.

     This information is designed to help you have the most enjoyable holiday season. From tips to protect you when you shop to links with information regarding toy safety and recalls, this section is designed to put all the information you need for a happy, healthy and safe holiday season in one convenient location.

     Please feel free to contact my office at 631-361-2154 or e-mail me at flanagan@nysenate.gov if you have any questions or comments about this site or any issue of importance to your family.

November 26, 2013
Read more...

Tips To Protect Yourself From Identity Theft During The Holiday Shopping Season

It’s not just pick-pockets who steal your credit cards and money anymore. Advances in computer technology have made it possible for ID thieves to ruin your credit and tarnish your good name. Below are tips to protect you and your family this holiday season.

November 26, 2013
Read more...

Tips For Safe Holiday Shopping

Information on Gift Cards from New York State Comptroller's Office

 

The New York State Division of Consumer Protection (NYSDCP) is warning consumers to use caution as they look for bargains in stores and online when they are doing their holiday shopping this year. 

The following links will access information from the NYSCSP:

NYSCSP Guide To Holiday Shopping

November 25, 2013
Read more...

SENATOR FUSCHILLO WARNS CONSUMERS OF ELABORATE TELEPHONE AND EMAIL TAX SCAMS

Senator Charles J. Fuschillo, Jr. (R-Merrick) is alerting residents about phone and email scams from individuals claiming to be from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) or the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance. Scammers posing as IRS or State Tax Department officials are threatening New Yorkers with fines, arrest, and other penalties if they do not immediately pay a claim of owed taxes.

November 22, 2013
Read more...

Senator David Valesky Welcomes DFS Mobile Command Center to CNY

Department of Financial Services' Assistance Available for Homeowners during Mobile Command Center Visits to Syracuse on Thursday and Liverpool on Friday

State Senator David J. Valesky (D-Oneida) today announced that the Department of Financial Services’ (DFS) Mobile Command Center (MCC) will be in Central New York this week to help provide foreclosure prevention assistance to struggling homeowners.

Department representatives will be available to meet homeowners in the MCC at two locations:

November 21, 2013
Read more...

NY SENATE TO CONVENE MASSIVE CYBERSECURITY HEARING IN ROME

ROME - Six Senate committees will hold a joint hearing at noon Monday to hear testimony from experts in law enforcement, finance and computer science about the state’s preparedness against cyber-attacks.

“Cyber crime is a major economic issue, resulting in more than $500 million in losses last year alone,” said Sen. Joseph A. Griffo, who chairs the Senate Banking Committee and is hosting the event. “There’s a reason why England considers it an even greater threat than nuclear war. We need to take a closer look at what our state is doing to prevent cyberattacks that could affect our security, our economy and our government.”

November 15, 2013
Read more...

GOVERNOR CUOMO SIGNS SENATOR FUSCHILLO’S LEGISLATION INTO LAW TO BETTER PROTECT CONSUMERS

     Senator Charles J. Fuschillo, Jr. (R-Merrick) announced that legislation he sponsored to help protect consumers from unsolicited mailings has been signed into law by Governor Andrew Cuomo.

     The new law will require mail offers for the sale of monuments or memorials to be clearly marked “SOLICITATION” in large boldface type at the top of any mailing unless the solicitation has been requested by the recipient. Following the death of a family member, individuals often receive many unsolicited offers for sale of monuments and memorials, but in some cases these offers are designed to look like bills rather than advertisements. As a result, families can end up paying without realizing the mailing is an offer, not a contract.

November 14, 2013
Read more...

SENATOR FUSCHILLO WARNS NEW YORKERS ABOUT DECEPTIVE STAR PROGRAM SOLICITATIONS

Letters Offer to Complete Free STAR Application at a Cost

     Senator Charles J. Fuschillo, Jr. (R-Merrick) today advised taxpayers to beware of solicitations offering a fee-based service to apply for the School Tax Relief (STAR) property tax exemption – when homeowners can apply for free.

November 8, 2013
Read more...

Stop Telemarketer Calls and Get Rid of Junk Mail

No one likes receiving unwanted sales calls or wasteful junk mail. I want to remind you how you can put an end to junk mail and annoying telemarketer calls.

October 29, 2013
Read more...

Senator Valesky to Hold Free Senior Fair Oct. 16

SYRACUSE – State Senator David J. Valesky (D-Oneida) is hosting a Senior Information Fair on Wednesday, October 16, from 10:00 a.m.

October 3, 2013
Read more...

Senator Valesky Senior Fair

Watch this video for details on Senator Valesky's upcoming Senior Information Fair on Wednesday, October 16, from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at the Kallet Civic Center in Oneida.

October 1, 2013
Read more...

SENATOR FUSCHILLO ANNOUNCES NEW LAW TO STRENGTHEN NEW YORK STATE’S DROP-SIDE CRIB BAN

     Senator Charles J. Fuschillo, Jr. (R-Merrick) recently announced that legislation he sponsored to strengthen New York State’s ban on dangerous drop-side cribs has been signed into law by Governor Cuomo. The law expands the state’s existing drop-side crib ban to prohibit drop-side cribs from being used at child-care facilities and other places of public accommodation and ensures that New York’s law conforms with federal regulations. 

September 30, 2013
Read more...

SENATOR FUSCHILLO WARNS CONSUMERS ABOUT NEW TEXT MESSAGE IDENTITY THEFT SCAM

     Senator Charles J. Fuschillo, Jr. (R-Merrick) is alerting consumers about a new scam in which identity thieves steal consumers identities through text messages.

     The thieves send victims text messages which appear to be from financial institutions, utility companies or cell phone service providers.  The text messages prompt recipients to click on an imbedded link or call the listed number. When consumers reply, they are then prompted to share personal identifiable information such as a PIN or social security number.

September 6, 2013
Read more...

SENATOR FUSCHILLO WARNS CONSUMERS ABOUT NEW IDENTITY THEFT SCAM

Scammers Claiming to Represent National Do Not Call Registry in Order to Steal Individuals Personal Information

     Senator Charles J. Fuschillo, Jr. (R-Merrick) is alerting consumers about a scam in which criminals pretend to be representatives of the National Do Not Call Registry in order to steal consumers’ identities.

August 28, 2013
Read more...

Consumer Alert: New Yorkers Be Wary of Growing Trend of Child-Identity Theft

The NYS Division of Consumer Protection is alerting parents, guardians and young adults about a growing trend of child-identity theft. These victims may not discover their identities have been stolen until they begin applying for loans, credit card accounts, or renting their first apartment.

Child identity theft is the assumption of an identity through the use of a minor’s personal information and social security number.

August 20, 2013
Read more...

SENATOR FUSCHILLO WARNS PARENTS ABOUT THE GROWING TREND OF CHILD-IDENTITY THEFT

Thieves Targeting Children’s Personal Information & Social Security Numbers to Create False Identities

    Senator Charles J. Fuschillo, Jr. (R-Merrick) today alerted parents, guardians and young adults about a growing trend of child identity theft. These victims may not discover their identities have been stolen until years later when they begin applying for loans, credit card accounts, or renting their first apartment.

August 15, 2013
Read more...
Syndicate content