Opinion: We need more than education to stop elder scams. We need law enforcement.
Pirrello is a deputy district attorney and the head of elder abuse protections. He lives in San Diego.
For years, victims of elder financial abuse scams have lost their life savings only to be told nothing can be done to help because the perpetrators of these heinous crimes are overseas and out of reach.
Recent estimates suggest that total losses across the U.S. from elder scams now exceed several billion dollars a year. Shockingly, in San Diego County alone, we see over 1,000 victims each year losing an estimated $20 million to $30 million to these scams.
These victims are retired military, former educators, health care professionals and even many retired members of law enforcement. They are our parents, grandparents, neighbors and friends. No one is immune.
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What are the most common scams impacting elder San Diegans right now? The grandparent scam convinces elders their grandchildren are in peril in some foreign jail and need bail money to save them. Variations of the information technology scam contact elders offering to “help” with a computer virus by…