San Diego/ Crime & Emergencies
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Published on June 21, 2024
San Diego Authorities Recover Over $3 Million for Elderly Fraud Victims in FBI-Assisted OperationSource:Google Street View

The fight against fraudsters who exploit the elderly has seen considerable progress in San Diego, with the recovery of over $3 million by the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the FBI in a concerted push to protect seniors from sophisticated scam schemes. This year's operation, which is a collaboration involving federal, state, and local agencies and employs a data-driven approach, has already executed more than 40 seizure warrants for assets totaling above $5.6 million, with $3,339,273.58 recovered for victims.

U.S. Attorney Tara McGrath emphasized the importance of early reporting in these cases, noting that swift action enables law enforcement to halt transactions and recover funds for the victims, "By getting reports of suspected fraud early, we have been able to interrupt millions of dollars in transactions and recover victims' money before it's too far gone," McGrath stated, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office. World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, which fell on June 15, serves as a yearly reminder of the importance of this issue, statistics show approximately one in every ten people over 60 has faced some type of elder abuse, including financial exploitation.

In terms of cyber-enabled fraud, California is experiencing a disproportionate impact, highlighted by the 2023 FBI IC3 report, which showed that the state led the nation both in the number of victims and the losses sustained, a troubling comparison against states like Texas. Scammers have particularly targeted seniors with schemes involving cryptocurrency investments, tech support or government impersonation, and bank impersonation scams, with a modus operandi that starts with what appears to be innocuous messages that escalate into convincing victims to transfer funds that eventually vanish.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office has issued clear warnings for the public to act as a defense against such deceptions: legitimate companies do not ask to remotely access your computer or phone, nor do they ask for personal login credentials or payments such as wire transfers, cash, gold bars, or cryptocurrency deposits for purported refunds or services. If you find yourself in such a predicament, it's crucial to "HANG UP the phone" and seek verification through trusted channels, as advised by the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Educating ourselves and supporting the elderly in recognizing these scams is fundamental. Listening and providing requisite check-ins for those who tend to be more isolated can make a difference. Observing and questioning unusual financial transactions or sudden desires to wire large sums can prevent financial exploitation. Reports of abuse or scams should be promptly filed with the local adult protective services, and police, or through the Department of Justice’s Elder Justice Initiative website at and the scams, reported directly to the FBI's dedicated webpage for internet crime at