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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of Tennessee

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, November 16, 2020

United States Attorney D. Michael Dunavant Launches Public Service Announcements on Violent Crime, Elder Fraud, and Opioids

Memphis, TN – Today, United States Attorney D. Michael Dunavant is launching three Public Service Announcements (PSAs) to raise awareness and increase reporting about the Department of Justice priority areas of violent crime, elder fraud, and opioids. The campaign employs targeted messaging to educate and inform the public with a series of public service announcements (PSAs) that will run on television, radio, social media and streaming platforms urging individuals to rethink committing violent crimes that could be federal offenses, and to guard against becoming victims of elder fraud or opioid abuse or overdose. The PSAs can be found at the links below to 30 and 60-second YouTube videos.

U.S. Attorney Dunavant said: "These PSAs are a proactive way for our office to provide education, deterrence, harm reduction, cooperation with law enforcement, community outreach, and federal assistance resources to citizens in West Tennessee. All federal crimes are important to our office, but these three priority areas of violent crime, elder fraud, and opioids are having an immediate and significant impact on our communities, and we have designed these PSAs to make it easier for victims to find resources and report crimes."

The first PSA is aimed at discouraging violent crime, specifically robbery and gun crimes, through our Project Safe Neighborhoods initiative. It warns potential offenders of the legal consequences of committing a federal gun crime: "Put the guns down and turn your life around, because if my office can prosecute you, we will." The PSA also encourages members of the community to report criminal activity in their neighborhoods to law enforcement: "If you see something and say something, we WILL do something."

PSN 30: https://youtu.be/fUeO1VI0WdQ

PSN 60: https://youtu.be/zemHXkKyitE

The second PSA focuses on the growing problem of Elder Fraud and Financial Exploitation. Earlier this year, Attorney General William Barr launched a National Elder Fraud Hotline. Staffed by experienced case managers who provide personalized support to callers, the hotline serves to assist elders and caretakers who believe they have been a victim of fraud by reporting and providing appropriate service. The online link to the hotline is: https://stopelderfraud.ovc.ojp.gov/. This Elder Fraud PSA warns potential victims and their loved ones about the types of scams targeting older Americans for financial fraud and theft, and encourages them to take action by reporting suspicious activity to the FBI: "Don’t let a scammer cheat you or your loved ones out of money or your peace of mind."

Elder Abuse 30: https://youtu.be/uMS73NKuRxs

Elder Abuse 60: https://youtu.be/t4AtXQzVZ9s

The third and final PSA targets the dangers of Prescription Opioid abuse and misuse. Drug overdose deaths and opioid-involved deaths continue to increase in the United States. Deaths from drug overdoses are up among both men and women, all races, and adults of nearly all ages, with more than three out of five drug overdose deaths involving an opioid. This PSA warns of the addictive and deadly dangers of opioid abuse: "Abusing prescriptions and buying pills on the street is gambling with your life. Your first one may be your last." It also encourages everyone to properly lock away prescriptions, safely dispose of unused and expired medications, and provides contact information about help available to those struggling with addiction: "You might just save a life."

Opioids 30: https://youtu.be/I2Bz4UT6pN4

Opioids 60: https://youtu.be/-Jjrgo6rFLU

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Updated November 16, 2020