Prosecutor Deddens Warns Retired Teachers of Cyber Attack Threat

Monday, April 15, 2024 at 9:50 AM

By Dearborn County Retired Teachers, news release

Deddens emphasizes the importance of taking extra precautions when dealing with people online

Dearborn County Prosecutor Lynn Deddens emphasizes the importance of taking extra precautions when dealing with people online. She recently spoke to the Dearborn County Retired Teachers Association at their spring meeting and relayed several sad stories about local folks who have lost thousands of dollars in such scams. She warned that such crimes are on the rise. Photo provided.

(Lawrenceburg, Ind.) - Dearborn County Prosecutor Lynn Deddens spoke at the spring meeting of the Dearborn County Retired Teachers Association, warning members to be alert for threats to their security via increasingly sophisticated hackers and cyber criminals. Following a catered meal at Greendale Middle School, Deddens shared heartbreaking stories of local citizens who have been recently scammed, many of them losing thousands of dollars and exposing their private information to future attacks. One common scam, she told the group, involves phone calls which purport a loved one, often a child or grandchild, is in jail and that the caller can arrange bail.

Deddens said, “Sadly, it’s easier to fall for these frauds than you would think.” She warned that these criminals use several techniques to trick unsuspecting people, especially the elderly. These include establishing camaraderie, playing to a person’s aversion to loss, flattery, creating anxiousness, creating instant terror, seducing with affection, and intimidation. She relayed stories about a local woman who lost $200,000 in such schemes. Often, Deddens said, “Folks are so embarrassed that they don’t report the crime.” She offered tips for avoiding such schemes. She recommended using credit cards, not debit cards, to make online purchases, not dealing with unfamiliar or questionable websites, and establishing a family “code word” that only trusted family members would know to verify calls.

Deddens also spoke about Adult Protective Services, which exists to ensure older citizens are not abused or neglected in their homes. She said Indiana is unique in that this office falls under the jurisdiction of the Prosecutor’s Office rather than Family Social Services, which allows her team to better seek out and prosecute offenders. “A lot of this is driven by greed,” she said. “Family members see an opportunity to get Mom’s money.”

The meeting also included a salute to the solar eclipse and a celebration that the Indiana Legislature recently approved a so-called “Thirteenth Check” for retired teachers who receive monthly pension checks. The group has not received a cost-of-living increase or raise in several years. President Judy Mosier commented, “This is the result of us making our voices heard.” She encouraged members to continue to speak out on important issues. The meeting also included discussion of volunteer hours and opportunities and the Dearborn County Retired Teachers Foundation, which makes grants to active teachers to implement creative and innovative lessons.

All retired Indiana teachers are eligible for membership in IRTA. Go to www.retiredteachers.org or contact Judy Mosier at kjmosier@comcast.net or Membership Director Cathy Mund at camund@gmail.com. Current classroom teachers who wish to apply for a grant are encouraged to go to www.dearborncountyrta.org or Facebook @ Dearborn County Retired Teachers.

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