Awareness Raised on World Elder Abuse Awareness Day

Leaders emphasize the importance of recognizing and combating elder abuse.

NASHVILLE – The United States Attorney Henry C. Leventis for the Middle District of Tennessee, in collaboration with national, state, local, and Tribal leaders, acknowledged World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD). Since its inception in 2006, WEAAD has aimed to raise awareness and understanding about the various forms of elder abuse and the resources available to those at risk.

U.S. Attorney Leventis stressed the importance of public awareness and education, highlighting the partnership between law enforcement and the community. Elder abuse is defined as any act that knowingly, intentionally, or negligently causes serious harm to an older person by someone in a position of trust, which can include family members, caregivers, or other trusted individuals. The harm can be financial, physical, sexual, or psychological.

The Justice Department has several programs and initiatives designed to combat elder abuse. The Transnational Elder Fraud Task Force collaborates with federal and state agencies to investigate and prosecute foreign-based schemes targeting older Americans. This initiative not only prosecutes the individuals and organizations responsible for these crimes but also provides the public with information to guard against common scams such as tech support fraud and emerging ones like romance scams.

Fraudsters often use money mules to move the proceeds of their illegal activities, taking advantage of the good will or financial vulnerability of their targets. The Money Mule Initiative focuses on identifying and disrupting money mule activities and educating people to avoid participating in such schemes.

To help older individuals and their families recognize and prevent fraudulent activities, the Justice Department offers Senior Scam Alerts. These alerts detail the tactics used in various schemes, such as Social Security Administration impostor scams, tech support scams, and lottery scams.

The United States Attorney’s Office works diligently with its federal, state, and local law enforcement partners to investigate and prosecute elder abuse crimes. In April 2023, a federal jury convicted a defendant on twelve felony counts for defrauding an elderly widow of over one million dollars. The defendant manipulated the victim into believing he would care for her both personally and financially, ultimately defrauding her of approximately $1.2 million, which he used for extravagant purchases.

The office also prioritizes addressing fraud related to nursing homes and worthless services. It leads the District’s Elder Justice Task Force to ensure coordination among law enforcement agencies on the latest scams targeting seniors, including those generated by AI.

For more information on the department’s elder justice efforts, please visit the Elder Justice Initiative page.

To report elder fraud, contact the 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

Source: Read Original Release

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