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Press Release

United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Alabama Recognizes World Elder Abuse Awareness Day

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Middle District of Alabama

            Montgomery, Alabama – United States Attorney Jonathan S. Ross for the Middle District of Alabama, joins national, state, local, and Tribal leaders today in recognizing World Elder Abuse Awareness Day. Since 2006, this day has promoted awareness of the many forms of elder abuse as well as the resources available to those at risk.

           Highlighting the partnership between law enforcement and the public, U.S. Attorney Ross emphasized the importance of awareness and education.

           “Far too often, seniors are targeted by fraudsters and criminals,” stated United States Attorney Ross. “Every day, they are bombarded by fraud schemes, scams, and abuse, both physical and mental. Protecting the elderly and preventing their exploitation is a priority for the U.S. Attorney’s Office, the Department of Justice, and our law enforcement partners. I encourage the public to learn the signs of elder abuse and exploitation and to check on our older friends and loved ones regularly.”  

           Elder abuse is an act that knowingly, intentionally, or negligently causes or creates a serious risk of harm to an older person by a family member, caregiver, or other person in a trust relationship. Such harm may be financial, physical, sexual, or psychological. The Justice Department maintains a variety of programs and initiatives to combat elder abuse.

           The Transnational Elder Fraud Task Force marshals federal and state agencies working collaboratively to investigate and prosecute foreign-based schemes that target older Americans. In addition to aggressively investigating the individuals, organizations, and networks responsible for these crimes, this initiative provides the public with information to guard against both traditional scams, like tech support fraud, as well as trending schemes, such as romance scams.

           Using one scam to perpetrate or conceal another, some fraudsters rely on money mules to move the proceeds of their illegal activity. Preying on the good will or financial vulnerability of their targets, scammers recruit people, many times older victims, to participate in schemes to move money in ways that avoid notice. The Money Mule Initiative identifies and addresses money mule activity to disrupt these fraud schemes, and helps people to recognize and avoid participation in perpetuating fraud.

           To help older individuals and their families identify and avoid fraudulent activity, the Justice Department provides Senior Scam Alerts with information about the tactics used in specific schemes. For example, in Social Security Administration Impostor schemes, scammers impersonate government administrators and falsely reporting suspicious activity to request that the victims provide their Social Security number for confirmation. In Tech Support scams, fraudsters contact victims, sometimes through internet pop-up messages, to warn about non-existent computer problems, ask that the victim give them remote access to their computer, and identify a non-existent problem, then demand large sums of money for unnecessary services. In Lottery scams, telemarketers falsely notify victims that they have won a sweepstakes and tell them they must first pay fees for shipping, insurance, customs duties, or taxes before they can claim their prizes.

           The Middle District of Alabama continues to work with federal, state, local, and Tribal law enforcement partners to investigate and prosecute elder abuse crimes. In a recent example, the U.S. Attorney’s Office recently prosecuted a Montgomery man for a home remodeling scam that targeted multiple elderly victims. Thanks to our law enforcement partners involved in that investigation, the defendant received a sentence of over six years in prison and was ordered to pay nearly $370,000 in restitution to the victims of the offense.

           To learn more about the department’s elder justice efforts please visit the Elder Justice Initiative page. To report elder fraud, contact the dedicated National Elder Fraud Hotline at 1-833-FRAUD-11 or 1-833-372-8311 and visit the FBI’s IC3 Elder Fraud Complaint Center at 

Updated June 14, 2024

Elder Justice