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April 12, 2011

Help Guard Seniors from Scams (USA)


Help guard seniors from scams
Apr. 9, 2011

Mountain Home:
Crime victims also include senior citizens. Understanding scams against seniors can help prevent crime and protect future victims. April 10-16 is National Crime Victims' Rights Week, a time to honor crime victims by doing more to protect the most vulnerable. The public can demand stronger laws to criminalize and penalize such crimes. The 2010 federal Elder Justice Act, for example, establishes an Elder Justice Coordinating Council to recommend how federal, state, local and private agencies can work together to protect seniors from exploitation.
Other recently proposed federal laws would crack down on financial fraud, increase awareness of criminal activities, and tighten penalties for scammers. Judges who refuse to tolerate such crimes, like the Maryland judge who last year imposed the harshest penalty on a man who swindled $189,000 from an elderly widow, can help reduce financial exploitation of vulnerable seniors.
We urge that the media publicize these crimes. Newspapers can cover this issue more extensively, and broadcast stations can air public service announcements to alert older people about current scams and where to get help if they are victimized.
Finally, communities can coordinate efforts to protect seniors from online fraud. Community college computer education programs can teach participants about online fraud, and public libraries can teach safe Internet use. Businesses can offer creative programs.
By mobilizing to prevent fraud against seniors, we can reshape the future and honor the past during National Crime Victims' Rights Week and the years to come. Reducing online fraud against seniors helps create a safer future for all Americans.
This is from the Department of Justice Office for Victims of Crime.

SOURCE:      The Baxter Bulletin
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