CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Today, U.S. Attorney Andrew Murray joined Attorney General William P. Barr and the entire Department of Justice in observing the 15th Annual World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, and to echo voices around the world
condemning elder abuse, neglect and financial exploitation.
“On this day, we shed a light on crimes perpetuated against older Americans and vow to continue to pursue relentlessly bad actors who exploit one of our nation’s most vulnerable populations. As U.S. Attorney, my mission is to prevent elder fraud through education and awareness, and bring to justice vile criminals who target seniors and inflict physical or financial harm upon the elderly,” said U.S. Attorney Murray.
In March 2019, U.S. Attorney Murray announced the Western District’s Elder Justice Initiative, which aims to combat elder financial exploitation by expanding efforts to investigate and prosecute financial scams that target seniors; educate older adults on how to identify scams and avoid becoming victims of financial fraud; and promote greater coordination with law enforcement partners. Since then, the office has prosecuted cases that run the gamut of scams targeting older Americans, including international telemarketing scams, tech support scams, romance scams, investment schemes, and financial fraud exploiting infirm elderly victims.
U.S. Attorney Murray noted, “Every day, elderly Americans are bombarded with fraudulent robocalls, spam emails and texts messages from scammers seeking to exploit them and steal their hard-earned savings. As technology increases, so does our responsibility to protect less tech savvy older adults from con artists. We must all do our part to ensure that seniors are aware of all forms of fraud, and they are properly educated on how to protect themselves from clever scammers with cunning tactics.”
U.S. Attorney Murray further noted that the COVID-19 pandemic has created unprecedented challenges for our country and the world, but among those most severely affected by the threat of the novel virus are our senior citizens. As the world takes this day to remember the elderly during these uncertain times, U.S. Attorney Murray underscored the importance of staying vigilant in protecting seniors who are vulnerable and isolated from their families and loved ones by social distancing and quarantine restrictions, and remind the public that bad actors have immediately exploited this international tragedy to prey on the elderly through a whole host of scams and fraudulent schemes.
On this day dedicated to recognizing our seniors, the U.S. Attorney’s Office sends a strong message that we continue the fight to keep seniors safe, and we will aggressively prosecute fraudsters exploiting the Covid-19 pandemic and targeting seniors.
“Through the department-wide Elder Justice Initiative and our local efforts, we remain relentlessly committed to preventing and prosecuting fraud on America’s seniors,” said U.S. Attorney Murray.
More information about the U.S. Attorney’s Office Elder Justice Initiative can be located here. For more information on department-wide enforcement actions, training and resources, research, and victim services, please visit www.justice.gov/elderjustice.