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Press Release

US Attorney for the Middle District of North Carolina recognizes World Elder Abuse Awareness Day

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Middle District of North Carolina
United States Attorney for the Middle District of North Carolina

GREENSBOROSandra Hairston, United States Attorney for the Middle District of North Carolina (USAO-MDNC), joined national, state, local, and Tribal leaders today in recognizing World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD). Since 2006, WEAAD has been commemorated to promote awareness and increases understanding 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 Hairston emphasized the importance of awareness and education.

“One in ten people over the age of 60 has experienced some form of elder abuse, with cases still widely underreported,” said U. S. Attorney Hairston. “Billions of dollars are lost to elder fraud scams each year. The USAO-MDNC and the Department of Justice are committed to prosecuting those who abuse the elderly, including by financial exploitation. These crimes are reprehensible, and we will use all of the tools available to us under the law to seek justice for our citizens.”

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 by falsely reporting suspicious activity to request that the victims provide their Social Security numbers 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.

To learn more about the Justice Department’s elder justice efforts, please visit the Elder Justice Initiative page.

The Middle District of North Carolina continues to work with federal, state, and local law enforcement partners to investigate and prosecute elder abuse crimes.

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 

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Updated June 14, 2024