Afternoon News Brief
Written by Doug Thompson on July 28, 2022
The New York State Division of Consumer Protection has issued a reminder warning to residents about an ongoing text phishing scheme. The agency says scammers are sending messages where they’re impersonating financial institutions and claiming that a customer’s account has been compromised due to unusual activity. But, the messages are actually an attempt to get people to share personal information such as their social security number, credit card information or bank account number. Anyone who gets a fraudulent text message should delete it immediately.
“We urge all New Yorkers to take extreme caution if they receive any type of correspondence from a financial institution requesting personal information or that an account has been compromised,” said State Police Superintendent Kevin P. Bruen in a news release. “Even if a text message or website looks valid, do not provide any information without confirmation. We want to remind people to contact their financial institution first and to check statements regularly to ensure they are not a
victim of fraud.”
Anyone who receives a fraudulent text message should delete it immediately. If a person receives such a message, they should:
1) Inspect the sender’s information to confirm that the message was generated from a legitimate source, but don’t click on the link or call the number on the text.
2) Do not respond to the text. Even writing STOP will let the scammer know your number is genuine, and they may sell your number to other scammers, making the problem worse.
3) Remember, banks will never ask you to provide confidential information through text. Requests to do so, as well as poor spelling or grammar, are telltale signs of a scam.
4) If you are suspicious, call the alleged bank or financial institution directly to understand the protocols for alerting customers of potential fraud.
5) Do not post sensitive information online. The less information you post, the less data you make available to a cyber criminal for use in developing a potential attack or scams.
6) Keep an eye out for misspelled words, which are used to bypass a phone carrier’s filter system for fraud.
One simple method for preventing spam texts is to block unknown senders from your cell phone:
1) Go to settings on your phone
2) Click on messages or block numbers, depending on your phone type.
3) Hit “Filter Unknown Senders” or tap on “Block Numbers,” depending on your phone type.
For more information on phishing scams, as well as steps to mitigate a phishing attempt, visit the NYS Office of Information Technology Services Phishing Awareness resources page at https://its.ny.gov/resources. For more consumer protection tips, follow the Division of Consumer Protection on social media at Twitter: @NYSConsumer and Facebook: www.facebook.com/nysconsumer.
The man accused of attacking Long Island Congressman Lee Zeldin was in federal court in Rochester late this morning. Last week, 43-year-old David Jakubonis approached Zeldin while he was making a campaign stop in Monroe County. Jakubonis had a weapon in his hand but was taken to the ground before Zeldin could be hurt. During court proceedings today, Judge Marian Payson reserved decision at this time and Jakubonis remains in custody. The Judge asked for further information, including an opportunity to review videos of the defendant’s interview with law enforcement following his arrest as well as the actual incident, and information regarding Jakubonis’s mental health and substance abuse history and treatment. A status hearing is scheduled for August 24th at noon. Jakubonis is facing up to 10 years in prison if he’s convicted of assaulting a member of Congress.
Governor Kathy Hochul announced today that the vast majority of $567 million dedicated to help low-income electric and gas utility customers pay off past due bills, would soon be reflected on their accounts. At the direction of the Governor, the Department of Public Service, worked with the state’s major utilities to credit customers’ accounts. The COVID-19 pandemic caused significant financial hardship for New Yorkers, particularly low-income consumers. Since March 2020, the number of customers more than 60 days behind in their electric and gas utility bills and the total dollar amount owed across all the customers statewide, had grown to unprecedented levels. It’s anticipated that low-income customer credits will be posted to accounts beginning August 1 and consumers can expect to see the credit on their next billing cycle.
The American Red Cross is experiencing a drop in blood and platelet donations this summer. Red Cross officials say donations are down nearly 20 percent. This could lead to a seasonal shortage—which can affect patients in hospitals all across the country. Type O negative blood donors are especially needed now. Locally, the next two blood drives will be held next week: On Tuesday, August 2nd at the New York State School for the Blind from 10am – 3pm, and on Thursday, August 4th at Northgate Free Methodist Church on Bank Street, from 1-6pm. Donors need to make an appointment ahead of time and by doing so, will be entered to win a $10 e-gift card. Donors can schedule an appointment to donate using the Red Cross Blood Donor App, or by visiting RedCrossBlood.org, or by calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).
Former Erie County Democratic Chairman Steve Pigeon has been sentenced to spend the next four months behind bars after pleading guilty to a conspiracy charge. Prosecutors say Pigeon helped arrange an illegal donation to the 2014 re-election campaign of former Governor Andrew Cuomo, but The Buffalo News reports that neither Cuomo nor his campaign was aware of Pigeon’s actions. Once Pigeon is out of jail, he’ll be on post-release supervision for one year. He is expected to be back in court today to be sentenced for bribing a state judge.
The suspect arrested in connection with the deadly shooting of a Rochester police officer has been indicted by a grand jury. Prosecutors say 21-year-old Kelvin Vickers shot Officer Anthony Mazurkiewicz while he was on a police detail on Bauman Street last Thursday. Mazurkiewicz’s partner, Officer Sino Seng, was injured but survived. Officials have not said if Vickers knew the two people he allegedly shot were police officers.
The Batavia Muckdogs won last night against their rival the Tarp Skunks; the final score was 6-1. They’re back at Dwyer tonight to host Auburn. The game gets underway at 7:00.
A former Gates Chili Central School District student is in trouble with the law after police say he made a threat against the high school. According to investigators, 24-year-old Jonathan Jordain posted a message on social media saying that he was going to shoot up the school. All schools in the district were placed on lockout yesterday and Jordain, who claimed he was just quoting rap music lyrics, was later taken into custody. He was arraigned in Gates Town Court and is being held in Monroe County Jail charged with felony making a terroristic threat. In 2015, 13 WHAM news reported a Gates Chili student named Jonathan Jordain was arrested for breaking into the high school, armed with a knife. He had also allegedly tweeted about killing students and teachers. It is not known at this time whether or not this was the same individual that was just charged.