Eastern Tennessee Marks World Elder Abuse Awareness Day

Officials highlight efforts to combat elder abuse on World Elder Abuse Awareness Day.

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – Francis M. Hamilton III, U.S. Attorney for the District of Eastern Tennessee, has joined national, state, and local leaders in recognizing World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD) on June 15th. Since its inception in 2006, WEAAD aims to promote understanding and awareness of the various forms of elder abuse and the resources available to those at risk.

Highlighting the importance of collaboration between law enforcement and the public, U.S. Attorney Hamilton emphasized the need for awareness and education.

“Our office joins our national, federal, state, and local partners in renewing our commitment to raise awareness to protect our elders from abuse, exploitation, neglect, and crime,” said U.S. Attorney Francis M. Hamilton III. “Our office will continue to strengthen existing law enforcement and community relationships and foster new ones to combat crime directed at the elderly.”

Elder abuse involves acts that knowingly, intentionally, or negligently cause or create a serious risk of harm to an older person by a family member, caregiver, or other person in a trusted relationship. This harm can be financial, physical, sexual, or psychological. The Justice Department supports various programs and initiatives to combat elder abuse.

The Transnational Elder Fraud Task Force works with federal and state agencies to investigate and prosecute foreign-based schemes targeting older Americans. This initiative not only investigates criminal networks but also provides public information to guard against traditional scams, such as tech support fraud, and emerging schemes like romance scams.

Some fraudsters rely on money mules to move the proceeds of their illegal activities. By preying on the goodwill or financial vulnerability of their targets, scammers recruit people, often older victims, to participate in schemes to move money covertly. The Money Mule Initiative identifies and addresses money mule activity, helping people recognize and avoid participating in fraud.

To assist older individuals and their families in identifying and avoiding fraudulent activities, the Justice Department provides Senior Scam Alerts detailing the tactics used in specific schemes. For instance, in Social Security Administration Impostor schemes, scammers impersonate government officials to request Social Security numbers under false pretenses. In Tech Support scams, fraudsters contact victims through internet pop-up messages, warn about non-existent computer problems, and demand payment for unnecessary services. Lottery scams involve telemarketers falsely notifying victims of sweepstakes wins and requesting payment of fees before claiming prizes.

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

The Eastern District of Tennessee continues to collaborate with federal, state, and local law enforcement partners to investigate and prosecute elder abuse crimes.

For more details on specific cases:

U.S. v. Henry

U.S. v. Miller

U.S. v. Meyers

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 IC3.gov.

Source: Read Original Release

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