United States Attorney's Office for the Northern District of New York

06/20/2024 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 06/20/2024 21:35

United States Attorney’s Office Recognizes World Elder Abuse Awareness Day

Press Release

United States Attorney's Office Recognizes World Elder Abuse Awareness Day

Thursday, June 20, 2024
For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of New York

SYRACUSE, NEW YORK - United States Attorney Carla B. Freedman joined national, state, local, and Tribal leaders in recognizing World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD) on June 15, 2024. Since 2006, WEAAD has been commemorated to promote awareness and increases 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 Freedman recorded a message highlighting the need for continued attention to address elder abuse and the work her office has done to address financial fraud that victimizes older Americans, along with enforcement efforts to address grossly substandard care in nursing homes.

United States Attorney Carla Freedman stated: "Elder abuse is rampant and, unfortunately, it comes in many forms. My office will continue to work with our law enforcement partners to promote awareness of elder abuse and to bring criminal and civil actions against those who prey on older Americans."

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 report 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 U.S. Attorney's Office for the Northern District of New York continues to work with federal, state, local, and Tribal law enforcement partners to investigate and prosecute elder abuse crimes.

Representative past examples include the following:

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 IC3.gov.

Updated June 20, 2024
Topic
Elder Justice