OPA wraps up Senior Fraud Presentations

KEKAHA — The Office of the Prosecuting Attorney held its final scheduled Senior Fraud Presentation Tuesday morning at the Kekaha Senior Center.

“Protecting yourself, your money, and your property” was OPA’s 11th presentation in seven months. The sessions were designed to provide useful information to seniors on how to stay safe, aware and active in preventing fraud.

“In recent years, senior citizens have become some of the most popular targets among criminals,” Prosecuting Attorney Shaylene Iseri-Carvalho said. “Because of their trusting and helpful nature, seniors are seen as easy prey for a wide variety of scams.”

The presentation also covered the emerging trend of prescription drug-related crime, which Iseri-Carvalho said acutely affects island seniors. Many senior citizens have large amounts of prescription medications in their homes, which makes them at-risk for home invasions by criminals looking to steal these valuable and dangerous drugs.

“These crimes can devastate these vulnerable victims, who are often on a fixed retirement income and unable to recover from the debilitating financial losses,” Iseri-Carvalho said. “Through education and awareness, we want to empower seniors to stay safe, aware, and active in preventing fraud before it happens.”

Through being aware of the risks and taking preventative measures, seniors can not only keep themselves safe, but also assist law enforcement by reporting suspicious activity in their neighborhood, she said.

OPA’s budget report for Fiscal Year 2013 highlights community outreach as vital to seniors as prime targets often victimized by criminals.

Because of their trusting and helpful nature, senior citizens are seen as easy prey for a wide variety of financial scams. These scams, ranging from mail, telephone and home repair fraud, devastate these vulnerable victims, who are often on a fixed retirement income and are unable to easily bounce back from the debilitating financial losses, the report states.

Additionally, because many senior citizens have large amounts of prescription drugs in their homes, they have become prime targets for home invasions by criminals looking to steal these valuable and potentially dangerous drugs.

Call OPA at 241-1888 for more information.

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