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Morris County Prosecutor’s Office holds webinar for law Enforcement on common financial scams targeting seniors

MORRIS COUNTY, NJ – Members of the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office participated in an informative webinar for prosecutors and investigators in the State on common financial scams that target 65+ and retiree victims, in keeping with the MCPO’s CAREs (Crimes Against Retired & Elderly) program.

Such fraud is estimated to cost victims over $10 billion annually. The webinar was part of the New Jersey Attorney General’s Advocacy Institute lunch-time training program.

The webinar was conducted by Assistant Prosecutor Christine Lopez and Detective Ryan Thomas. They discussed investigative strategies to “follow the money,” as well as the role of municipal police departments and local law enforcement agencies in pursuing those who perpetrate such crimes.

Topics included common charging statutes, perpetrators of fraud (can be family, those granted power of attorney, or strangers), how scammers leverage social media and emotions against their victims, and strategies for avoiding victimization.

It is vital that public report possible fraud as soon as possible, as quick action increases the likelihood of recovery and allows law enforcement to investigate, Det. Thomas said.

There is an unfortunate stigma for victims, AP Lopez said, as many feel embarrassed being victimized or afraid of losing their financial independence.

Some of the most notable scams are fake bank alerts, fake job offers/interviews, fraudulent package tracking links, telemarketing scams, alleged healthcare or funeral bills, romance scams, and property scams.

The webinar was part of the CAREs outreach program to combat these predatory scammers. AP Lopez and Det. Thomas routinely make presentations for the public around Morris County and beyond. Attendees are informed how to better protect their money through retirement and how scammers operate.

The Morris County Prosecutor’s Office has recently held preventative seminars in Chatham Township, Denville, Madison, and Morris Township/Morristown.

Following the formal presentation, attendees were able to ask questions of the presenters.

To report elder abuse for Morris County residents, call 973-326-7282.

“Municipal and other law enforcement agencies are our partners in combatting these despicable scammers targeting our 65+ citizens. Through education and coordination, we can best serve those who have been victimized, and pursue criminal charges against the offenders,” Morris County Prosecutor Robert J. Carroll said.

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Jay Edwards

Born and raised in Northwest NJ, Jay has a degree in Communications and has had a life-long interest in local radio and various styles of music. Jay has held numerous jobs over the years such as stunt car driver, bartender, voice-over artist, traffic reporter (award winning), NY Yankee maintenance crewmember and peanut farm worker. His hobbies include mountain climbing, snowmobiling, cooking, performing stand-up comedy and he is an avid squirrel watcher. Jay has been a guest on America’s Morning Headquarters,program on The Weather Channel, and was interviewed by Sam Champion.

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