FBI Phoenix Provides Tips for World Elder Abuse Awareness Day
FBI Phoenix Special Agent Jeremy Capello is raising awareness about scams targeting the elderly in Arizona to mark World Elder Abuse Awareness Day.
I’m Supervisory Special Agent Jeremy Capello. I oversee the complex financial crimes program at the FBI Phoenix Field Office.
In honor of World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, the FBI Phoenix Field Office is raising awareness about scams targeting the elderly in Arizona.
As a response to the increasing prevalence of fraud against the elderly, the Department of Justice and the FBI partnered in 2017 to create the Elder Justice Initiative. The FBI has prioritized our efforts to address elder fraud and will continue to do so along with our partners and we have worked extensively to educate this population on how to take steps to protect themselves from being victimized.
From 2019 to 2020, elder fraud in Arizona nearly doubled.
According to the latest FBI Internet Crime Complaint Center or IC3 report, residents over the age of 60 made up the majority of Arizona victims in 2020 and accounted for the most money lost.
If you are an older American—or a caregiver—here are some things you can do to protect you and your family:
Contact an attorney before signing any legal document.
Check financial statements every month for unusual activity.
Avoid unsolicited contacts—whether by phone, e-mail, social media or at your door. It is OK to not answer the phone if you don’t know who’s calling. Don’t open emails in which you don’t know the sender. Don’t be afraid to tell someone you are not interested and walk away.
Finally, never give financial details or personal information to someone you don’t know and trust, especially if you met them online and not in person.
If you believe you are a victim of fraud, or know a senior who may be, regardless of financial loss, immediately report the incident to your local law enforcement agency and to the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center at www.ic3.gov or call your local FBI office.
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