U.S. Attorney Breon Peace Highlights Support and Resources for Elder Abuse Awareness Day
EDNY Disseminating Information to Increase Awareness of, Prevent, Scams against Seniors
In observation of this year’s World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, celebrated annually on June 15th, Breon Peace, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York highlighted available resources to increase awareness of, and prevent, various scams against seniors including brochures, flyers, and targeted presentations.
“By disseminating materials and having Assistant U.S. Attorneys provide presentations to the Eastern District community, we hope to ensure our valued senior citizens have the tools they need to protect themselves against scams,” stated United States Attorney Breon Peace. “The Office is proud to be part of the Elder Fraud Strike Force and will use every tool at our disposal to ensure that our senior communities are protected, and those that wish to harm them are brought to justice. We encourage all to reach out for more information.”
U.S. Attorney Peace thanked the Federal Trade Commission for its help in creating some of the materials and investigating alleged acts of elder fraud.
Some common scams targeting the elderly include:
- Family imposter scams, where someone calls pretending to be the victim’s relative (often a grandchild) and claiming to need money;
- Government imposter scams, such as callers impersonating the Internal Revenue Service or the Social Security Administration and demanding payment for fictitious tax liabilities or compromised personal information connected to alleged criminal activity;
- Tech support scams, where scammers request remote access to victim computers and then demand money to fix various bogus computer problems; and
- Romance scams conducted through online dating websites. Often the scammers request payment via gift card, making it easier for them to remain anonymous.
Increasing awareness of common types of scams among potential victims helps to increase their vigilance and makes them less likely to fall prey to these schemes.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York has made available various materials to help increase awareness about, and prevent, frauds targeted at seniors. These include:
- Presentations by Assistant U.S. Attorneys about ways to protect yourself and your community against scams. To request a presentation please email USANYE-SpeakersBureau@usdoj.gov
- Brochure about the Department of Justice’s Elder Fraud Strike Force, with details about how to submit a complaint if you were a victim of a scam, where to find additional information, and an overview of common scams and red flags – and how to protect yourself against them.
- Flyers about gift-card scams in English and Spanish created with the Federal Trade Commission.
Combatting elder abuse and financial fraud targeted at seniors is a key priority of the U.S Attorney’s Office. Elder abuse is a serious crime against some of our nation’s most vulnerable citizens, affecting at least 10% of older Americans every year. Together with our federal, state, local, and tribal partners, the U.S. Attorney’s Office is committed to combatting all forms of elder abuse and financial exploitation through enforcement actions, training and resources, victim services, and public awareness.
The United States Department of Justice seeks to prevent and prosecute elder abuse and fraud through the Elder Justice Initiative, which coordinates enforcement efforts Department-wide. In June 2019, the Attorney General announced the establishment of the Transnational Elder Fraud Strike Force. The Eastern District of New York was one of six U.S. Attorneys’ Offices to be selected to be a part of this joint law enforcement effort that brings together the resources and expertise of the Department of Justice’s Consumer Protection Branch, the FBI, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, and other organizations. The Strike Force focuses on investigating and prosecuting individuals and entities associated with foreign-based fraud schemes that disproportionately affect American seniors. These include telemarketing, mass-mailing, and tech-support fraud schemes.
In March 2022, the Office formed the Consumer Protection Team within the Office’s Civil Division to protect the health, safety, economic security, and dignity of individuals in the Eastern District of New York and nationwide, including our most vulnerable residents – older adults and children. Click here to see more recent news regarding the Office’s Elder Justice initiative.
To request a presentation or other materials, please email USANYE-SpeakersBureau@usdoj.gov
For more information on the Department of Justice's Elder Justice Initiative please visit https://www.justice.gov/elderjustice.
If you or someone you know is a victim of elder fraud, please call the Department of Justice’s National Elder Fraud Hotline at 833–FRAUD–11 (833–372–8311).
All FTC information is in the public domain, and free to share. Visit FTC’s Pass It On to download or order free materials, including articles, presentations that you can deliver, bookmarks, and activity sheets in English and Spanish.
The Department of Justice provides a variety of resources relating to elder fraud victimization through its Office of Victims of Crime, which can be reached at www.ovc.gov.