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Press Release

AARP discusses elder fraud with U.S. Attorneys Thompson and Ihlenfeld

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of West Virginia

CHARLESTON, WEST VIRGINIA - The AARP of West Virginia hosted a town hall today so that its members could learn more about trends in elder fraud from the state's top federal law enforcement officials.

United States Attorneys Will Thompson and William Ihlenfeld shared their insight on the latest scams with hundreds of citizens during a conference call this morning. Each explained the efforts that they are undertaking to protect seniors and discussed notable cases they have prosecuted.

“This is a subject where the more education we can provide to our citizens, the better,” said U.S. Attorney Thompson. “These criminals are very, very good at what they do. They have the social engineering skills and know how to wreak havoc with people. There should be no embarrassment when you need to report these crimes and time is of the essence, particularly when you’re dealing with internet-based fraud. If you do feel that you are a victim, reach out to someone in law enforcement quickly so we can possibly get your money back.”

"Con artists continue to prey upon older West Virginians but the good news is that these crimes are preventable," said U.S. Attorney Ihlenfeld. "Seniors can protect themselves and their savings by being careful with whom they interact on the Internet, being skeptical of strangers who ask for money, and being cautious when providing a power of attorney.”

Victims over the age of 60 lost $1.7 billion to fraud in 2021, according to the FBI. Romance scams topped the list of crimes causing the greatest loss, followed by email compromise, investment schemes, and fake tech support calls.

For more information about how to protect yourself and your loved ones from elder fraud, go to

Updated September 27, 2022

Elder Justice
Community Outreach