June 15 as World Elder Abuse Awareness Day

The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Colorado recognizes June 15 as World Elder Abuse Awareness Day

(STL.News) United States Attorney Cole Finegan encourages the citizens of Colorado to recognize World Elder Abuse Awareness Day on June 15, 2022, and to remain vigilant on behalf of our older family, friends, and loved ones who are at increased risk of abuse and fraud.

Older persons are at higher risk of exploitation, emotional and physical abuse, neglect, financial frauds, and scams, which can be perpetrated against them by strangers and trusted friends and family alike. In addition to exploiting close relationships, abusers can contact older adults by phone, email, mail, social media, and the internet. Staying connected with older adults, encouraging trust and transparency regarding their relationships and contacts, and reducing social isolation are some of the most powerful tools in our community arsenal for combatting abuse, neglect, and financial exploitation.

These intentional and negligent acts affect millions of older adults every year, with wide-reaching implications on victims’ physical and emotional health, their finances, and their dignity and sense of trust. Unfortunately, the unprecedented challenges of the opioid epidemic and the COVID-19 pandemic have only exacerbated vulnerabilities that tend to disproportionally impact older adults.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Colorado remains steadfastly committed to supporting and coordinating with federal, state, and local law enforcement partners to combat abuse of our elder citizens. Schemes to defraud these citizens with tactics such as social security and tax imposter scams, tech support scams, lottery scams, and romance scams are priorities the Office continues to investigate and prosecute on an ongoing basis.

Last year, this Office secured a sentence of 108 months in prison and more than $880,000 in restitution against a defendant who targeted an elderly woman in Estes Park, Colorado by way of a lottery scam. His co-defendant is scheduled to be sentenced later this month.