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Press Release

U.S. Attorney Jaime Esparza Recognizes World Elder Abuse Awareness Day

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of Texas

SAN ANTONIO – U.S. Attorney Jaime Esparza for the Western District of Texas, 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 increase 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 Esparza emphasized the importance of awareness and education.

“Elder abuse is a serious crime against some of our nation’s most vulnerable citizens and, with our law enforcement partners, my office is committed to preventing and prosecuting the most pressing elder justice issues facing older Americans. But we need your help to prevent elder abuse and neglect,” said U.S. Attorney Esparza. “Listen to older adults and their caregivers to understand their challenges and provide support. Look for unusual financial transactions like unexplained withdrawals, purchases of gold bars or cryptocurrency, or uncharacteristic efforts to wire large amounts of money. Report abuse or suspected abuse to local adult protective services, long-term care ombudsman, or the police. Together, we can combat all types of elder abuse in our communities.”

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 and falsely reporting suspicious activity to request that the victims provide their Social Security number 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 department’s elder justice efforts please visit the Elder Justice Initiative page.

The Western District of Texas continues to work with federal, state, local, and tribal 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



Updated June 15, 2024

Elder Justice