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Elder Justice Initiative

The United States Attorney’s Office and Department of Justice (DOJ) are committed to combat elder abuse, neglect, financial fraud, and scams that target our nation’s seniors. Elder fraud schemes take a variety of forms that range from small-scale identity thefts involving impersonation of a senior to mass mailing fraud schemes that steal from thousands of elderly victims. These schemes defraud America's seniors out of billions of dollars annually.

OUR ELDER JUSTICE MISSION

Our mission is to combat elder abuse and financial exploitation, encourage reporting abuse, and educate the public to make America safer for all. We engage in this work by focusing on the following mission areas:

Building Federal, State & Local Capacity to Fight Elder Abuse - Providing targeted training and resources to elder justice professionals including: prosecutors, law enforcement, judges, victim specialists, first responders, civil legal aid employees and multi-disciplinary teams to enhance their ability to respond to elder abuse efficiently and effectively.

Promoting Justice for Older Americans - Investigating and prosecuting financial scams targeting older adults. Promoting greater federal, state, and local coordination to resolve cases where long-term care entities provide grossly substandard care to their residents or patients.

Helping Older Victims & Their Families - Connecting older adults and their families or caregivers with appropriate investigative agencies, as well as empowering them with information about abuse and recovering from its effects.

SAMPLE FRAUD SCHEMES THAT OFTEN TARGET THE ELDERLY MAY INCLUDE:

o Sweepstakes scams - bilk victims out of fees purportedly required to receive a falsely promised prize;

o Grandparent scams - convince seniors that their grandchildren have been arrested and need bail money;

o Romance scams - lull victims to believe that their online paramour needs funds for a U.S. visit or some other purpose;

o Tech support schemes - claim expensive software is required to remove a falsely alleged computer virus;

o IRS imposter schemes - defraud victims by posing as IRS agents and claiming that victims owe back taxes;

o Jury duty schemes - purport to fine victims for failing to report for jury duty;

o Guardianship schemes - siphon seniors' financial resources into the bank accounts of deceitful relatives or guardians; and

o Scam that Target Seniors to Unwittingly Smuggle Drugs Internationally.

DOJ ELDER JUSTICE LINKS & RESOURCES

Elder Justice Initiative (EJI), https://www.justice.gov/elderjustice

Financial Exploitation, https://www.justice.gov/elderjustice/financial-exploitation

Senior Scam Alert, https://www.justice.gov/elderjustice/senior-scam-alert

Elder Abuse Resource Roadmap, https://www.justice.gov/elderjustice/roadmap

Prosecutor Training and Resources, https://www.justice.gov/elderjustice/prosecutor-training-resources

The Elder Justice Roadmap, https://www.justice.gov/file/852856/download

Elder Abuse/Mistreatment, DOJ Office for Victims of Crime, https://ovc.ncjrs.gov/topic.aspx?topicid=100

Elder Justice Task Forces, https://www.justice.gov/elderjustice/task-forces

Elder Justice Resources for Law Enforcement, https://www.justice.gov/elderjustice/law-enforcement-1

Elder Justice and Victim Specialists, https://www.justice.gov/elderjustice/victim-specialists-0

Elder Justice and Multi-disciplinary Teams, https://www.justice.gov/elderjustice/mdt

Older Adults, Family, and Caregivers, https://www.justice.gov/elderjustice/victims-families-caregivers

Elder Abuse, DOJ National Institute of Justice, OJP, https://nij.gov/topics/crime/elder-abuse/pages/welcome.aspx

Hotlines to Share with Seniors, https://www.justice.gov/elderjustice/victim-specialists-0#topic4

Legal Issues Related to Elder Abuse, A Pocket Guide for Law Enforcement, DOJ BJA,

https://www.bja.gov/Publications/ABA-ElderAbuseGuide.pdf

 

Updated August 20, 2019

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