Issues: Consumer Protection

WHY WOULD ANYONE ABANDON $300,000 WORTH OF ARTWORK IN A STORAGE UNIT?

Avella Advocates For Passage Of His Self-Storage Protection Bill After Learning of Biggest Payout in Show’s History 

 

February 21, 2014
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Committee Meeting: Consumer Protection Meeting

Senate Standing Committee on Consumer Protection  Senator Lee Zeldin, Chair  Wednesday, February 26, 2014 

PLEASE NOTE CONSUMER PROTECTION WILL MEET IMMEDIATLY FOLLOWING SESSION ON FEBRUARY 26, 2014 IN ROOM 801 LOB

February 26, 3:00 PM - 5:00 PM
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Senator Kevin Parker Calls for Support of Legislation to Improve Emergency Responses Involving ‘Emotionally Disturbed’

(Brooklyn, NY) –  Today, State Senator Kevin Parker stood in solidarity with Communities for Crisis Intervention Teams (www.ccitnyc.org) – a coalition of 50 behavioral health providers and concerned citizens, and Brooklyn Borough President and retired New York Police Department Captain, Eric Adams, on City Hall steps to urge the Governor and Mayor to support the creation of specially trained Crisis Intervention Teams (CITs). The proposed CIT training would enable the NYPD to better respond to the 100,000 ‘emotionally disturbed person’ (EDP) calls received annually.

February 19, 2014
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Committee Meeting: Consumer Protection Meeting

Senate Standing Committee on Consumer Protection Senator Lee Zeldin, Chair 1:00 PM, Monday, February 3, 2014 Room 801 LOB

February 3, 1:00 PM - 1:03 PM
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PSEG Long Island Warns Customers About an Email Payment Scam

PSEG Long Island is alerting customers not to be defrauded by a scam in which fraudulent emails appear to be bills sent from their utility. The emails request personal information from the customer, leading to identity theft.

PSEG Long Island has received reports of customers receiving such emails and urges its customers to be wary of these types of suspicious emails.  The utility would not ask its customers to provide personal information online without first logging into My Account.

January 16, 2014
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Committee Meeting: Consumer Protection Meeting

Senate Standing Committee on Consumer Protection Senator Lee Zeldin, Chair 1:00 PM, Wednesday, January 22, 2014 Room 801 LOB

January 22, 1:00 PM - 1:04 PM
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In Wake of Large Breach of Consumer Data at Target, Senator Kennedy Urges State to Help Local Businesses Protect NY Consumers

As investigation continues into security breach impacting 40 million customers at Target, Senator Kennedy wants Dept. of Financial Services to launch new actions to strengthen safeguards protecting consumer data in NY.

Kennedy: New York State should launch new actions to help protect consumer data and ensure this ‘season of giving’ doesn’t become a season of stealing customer information.

December 23, 2013
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Sen. Klein, Joined by Dozens of Victimized Bronx Homeowners, Announce Filing of Class Action Lawsuit Against Deceptive Contractors

BRONX, NY– Standing on the steps of the Bronx County Supreme Court, Senator Klein, joined by dozens of Bronx homeowners and Assemblyman Marcos Crespo (D-Bronx), announced that a lawsuit charging fraud, conspiracy, breach of contract and negligence had been filed against members of an elaborate scheme targeting first time, minority homeowners. Homeowners allege that the defendants, working in concert, (referenced to as the “Tota-Kash Group” in the complaint), bilked them for millions of dollars by inducing them to purchase homes in the Bronx without valid certificates of occupancy and with shoddy workmanship.

December 20, 2013
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Consumer Alert Regarding Target Information Breach

Retailer Target has announced that data connected to about 40 million credit and debit card accounts was stolen as part of a breach that began over the Thanksgiving weekend.  According to Target, if you used your credit or debit card in any of their stores, it is potential that your information was accessed. 

December 20, 2013
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Senator Hoylman Sounds Alarm On Mattel’s Suspect Advertising Claims

New York, NY—Following dubious claims about the educational and developmental benefits of New York-based Fisher-Price’s Apptivity products, New York State Senator Brad Hoylman sent a letter today to parent company Mattel, calling on the toy manufacturer to review the product line and cease promoting passive screen use by infants and toddlers.

December 18, 2013
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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.”

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December 10, 2013
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State Leaders Developing Cybercrime Policies

By RICHARD MOODY, Legislative Gazette, December 02, 2013

December 10, 2013
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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
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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
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Tips For Safe Holiday Shopping

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

Refunds, Rebate and Rainchecks

November 25, 2013
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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
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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
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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
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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
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