LOS ANGELES – Today City Attorney Mike Feuer launched a public awareness campaign designed to empower and protect seniors from scams perpetrated in cyber space.
“We’re launching a multi-pronged effort to give seniors the tools to thwart scam artists, surf the web safely and feel empowered to use cyber technology without fear,” said Feuer.
Feuer joined with the Department of Aging to announce a series of free trainings conducted by his Office across Los Angeles to educate and create awareness for seniors about cyber scams.
"A recent survey of Los Angeles seniors showed that 84% of seniors agree it is somewhat or very important that seniors use technology,” said Laura Trejo, General Manager of the City of Los Angeles’ Department of Aging. “Many cite how the internet is important in helping them stay connected to family, friends and the wider world. However, emerging technologies also require that seniors be vigilant to prevent being victimized. This is why the department is partnering with City Attorney Mike Feuer to raise awareness about internet scams and fraud to keep seniors safe."
The campaign entitled, Take Off Your Rose Colored Glasses: Things Are Not Always What They Seem To Be, is designed to educate seniors and their family members about the dangers that accompany using computers, laptops, cell phones, tablets and other similar electronic devices.
In addition to the trainings, the City Attorney’s Office will create brochures, posters, and video messages to generate awareness throughout the year and will host an Elder Abuse Prevention Symposium in January, 2015.
Each year millions of Americans become victims of financial exploitation through telephone and mail marketing schemes, investment scams, and unscrupulous individuals abusing positions of trust. As more seniors are using technology such as smart phones, lap tops, computers, and tablets, scam artists are broadening their reach.
There are 400,000 individuals over the age of 65 in the City of Los Angeles, many of whom represent vulnerable, easy targets for scam artists.
Elderly victims may lack awareness that someone has compromised their financial security or personal identity, experience confusion or frustration surrounding reporting, or be too ashamed to admit they have been victimized. Senior financial fraud can only be reduced by raising awareness so that fraud schemes are recognized and seniors feel safe to report if they become a victim.
The campaign is being funded in part by a grant from the California Attorney General’s Office (Privacy and Piracy Fund).