Forums Will Focus on Stopping Scams

The Stand wants to hear from you on how we can help each other spot misleading information and respond to it appropriately

Staff Reports

The Stand and its partners are hosting two community forums aimed at surfacing ideas for recognizing and combatting scams and other types of misinformation.

The forums are:

6 to 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, April 20, at the Southwest Community Center, 401 South Ave. (RSVP on Facebook at

Noon to 1:30 p.m. on Saturday, April 22, at the South Side Innovation Center, 2610 S. Salina St. (RSVP on Facebook at

RSVP in advance for one of the forums and then attend, and we’ll send you a $20 digital gift card of your choice. We’ll also send you a link to an optional survey and provide another $10 to complete it.

If you don’t use Facebook and want to RSVP, text or call Greg Munno at 315-730-4621, or email him at He’ll get you on the list!

We’re also doing everything we can to make the forums interesting. We use a roundtable discussion format, so there’s very little presentation and lots of chances to share your ideas. We want to tap into your wisdom and learn how you recognize and respond to scams, and we want to brainstorm strategies that we might use to help others recognize and respond to deceptive content.

Here are a few questions we have been fielding about the forums. If you have others, just contact Greg and he’ll get back to you with answers.

Can I bring more than one person?

Absolutely! Bring as large a group as you want. As long as they come to participate in the forum, each person will receive a gift card.

Can I bring my children?

Yes! We’re quite interested in hearing from teens about where they encounter scams and how they can tell a scam from other types of information. So if your child can join the conversation, we can either have them join your table or we can create a table with other teens in attendance.

If your child is too young to join the conversation, we’ll find ways to keep them safe and entertained. We’ll have refreshments and extra Syracuse University students on-hand who can provide child care. They are not licensed child care providers, but the students we work with are friendly and responsible!

If you need child care, please try to let us know in advance.

Why is this important?

Phone scams. Internet scams. People impersonating loved ones in need in schemes to separate you from your hard earned cash. These kinds of scams cost the U.S. economy billions of dollars a year.

And it costs more than just money. Scams, along with other types of misleading information, destroy our trust so that we don’t know who to believe. There’s also research that shows scammers and propagandists often target Black communities.

So it’s important we know how to recognize deceptive information.

What will we do at the forums?

You sit at tables with other participants and a facilitator. Together, you’ll work through a series of discussions on questions like: Where do you see scams? On what topics are you most concerned about misleading information? Do you have any tips or tricks for recognizing scams and misleading information?

We’ll close with: If The Stand were to run an information campaign to help people spot scams, what types of things should we emphasize? Then everyone will vote for their favorite ideas.

It won’t take more than 90 minutes. We’ll have refreshments and make it as engaging as we can.

Why is The Stand involved?

The Stand has always sought to deliver helpful information to South Siders. That means we strive for accuracy, look for stories that are relevant to our audience, and favor positive stories that celebrate Black excellence – especially ones commercial news outlets miss or ignore.

But research shows there is so much bad information out there, people miss the good information. That bugs us and we want to work to change it!

We also have the opportunity to partner with professors at Syracuse University who won a Knight Foundation grant to do this work, allowing for things like the gift cards we can use to incentives participation. We think your time is valuable but rarely have the resources to pay you for it. This time we do!

What is The Stand?

The Stand is a publication of the South Side Newspaper Project Inc., a nonprofit started more than 10 years ago to create a community newspaper for the South Side of Syracuse.

It is run by a board that includes community members President Charles Pierce-El, Treasurer Reggie Seigler, Tiffany Lloyd, Tyrone Dixon, and Doug Bullock. Also on the board is journalist and professor Greg Munno of the Newhouse School. We are currently without a director, but are doing the best we can to keep our coverage timely and relevant, with help from Newhouse student reporters.

You can follow The Stand’s work at,,, and .

Want to write for The Stand? Please be in touch! We are looking for community correspondents.

Remind me how to RSVP for the forums?

If you are on Facebook, go to for the April 20th forum at the Southwest Community Center (starts at 6 p.m.) and for the April 22nd forum at the South Side Innovation Center that starts at noon. Not on Facebook? Text or call 315-730-4621, or email

What if I have been scammed or don’t know a lot about scams and how to stop them?

We still most definitely want to hear from you! Scams are so prevalent, most people have likely already fell for one. If that happened to you, we’re sorry. You are certainly not alone — we’ve been scammed too!

We’ve all learned from those experiences, though, and are hopefully a little better prepared to spot the next scam that tries to ensnare us. So we’re pretty sure you will have some good ideas for us, even if you don’t yet know it. And it is helpful also just to hear from folks who have struggled with this and to learn what makes sense to them in terms of strategies to try to stop it.

After all, we want whatever we come up with to be of, for and by the people of the South Side, so we need to hear from you!

Other Questions?

Contact Greg Munno at 315-730-4621, or email him at

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