United States Attorney's Office for the District of Nevada

06/14/2024 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 06/14/2024 15:58

Nevada U.S. Attorney's Office Recognizes World Elder Abuse Awareness Day

Press Release

Nevada U.S. Attorney's Office Recognizes World Elder Abuse Awareness Day

Friday, June 14, 2024
For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Nevada
Information and Vigilance Remain Key Elements to Preventing Elder Abuse

LAS VEGAS - Ahead of World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD) on June 15, 2024, the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Nevada joins national, state, local, and Tribal leaders in increasing awareness and understanding the many forms of elder abuse, neglect, and exploitation.

"Every year, millions of seniors experience some form of elder abuse, neglect, financial exploitation, or fraud," said United States Attorney Jason M. Frierson for the District of Nevada. "Our Elder Justice Initiative brings together local, state, federal and Tribal law enforcement to share information and increase coordination in addressing elder abuse and fraud in Nevada. We know the partnership between law enforcement and the public are vital to combating these types of crimes and are important in raising awareness. We participate in community events and presentations to raise awareness on how to recognize and prevent abuse and fraud crimes against seniors."

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.

In addition to prosecuting elder abuse and fraud cases, the U.S. Attorney's Office, through its Elder Justice Initiative, partners with law enforcement agencies, government entities, and community organizations to ensure that older adults, caretakers, and those who come in frequent contact with the elderly are educated on how to detect, prevent, and report elder fraud, neglect, and abuse.

If you or someone you know is age 60 or older and has been a victim of financial fraud, help is standing by at the National Elder Fraud Hotline: 1-833-FRAUD-11 (1-833-372-8311). This U.S. Department of Justice hotline, managed by the Office for Victims of Crime, is staffed by experienced professionals who provide personalized support to callers by assessing the needs of the victim and identifying relevant next steps. Case managers will identify appropriate reporting agencies, provide information to callers to assist them in reporting, connect callers directly with appropriate agencies, and provide resources and referrals, on a case-by-case basis. Reporting is the first step. Reporting can help authorities identify those who commit fraud and reporting certain financial losses due to fraud as soon as possible can increase the likelihood of recovering losses. The hotline is open Monday through Friday from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. ET. English, Spanish, and other languages are available.


Updated June 14, 2024
Elder Justice