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Special Elder Abuse Unit Protects Older Pennsylvanians

by on May 21, 2014 11:15 AM

Created in August 2006, the PA Attorney General's Elder Abuse Unit investigates and prosecutes those who cheat, deceive or abuse older Pennsylvanians.

The unit is comprised of prosecutors, agents and support staff. 

A special section within the unit educates the public about senior fraud and teaches them how to avoid being victimized.

Elder abuse complaints are received from the toll free elder abuse hotline at (866) 623-2137. Well-trained staff help expedite assistance to senior citizens by providing information when the issue is not within the jurisdiction of the Office of Attorney General or by moving the referrals to the proper section within the office when appropriate, according to the PA Attorney General’s office.

The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania has the third highest percentage of elderly residents in the United States with nearly 2 million residents over the age of 65. In addition, the fastest growing segment of Pennsylvania's population is those who are 85 years of age or older.

Statistically, senior citizens are favored targets for many kinds of consumer fraud including identity theft, charities, telemarketing and sweepstakes fraud. 

The Public Protection Division in the Office of the Attorney General addresses those types of consumer complaints as well as health care issues, violations of the Pennsylvania Do Not Call Law, and numerous other subjects.

Frail and care dependent elderly are often susceptible to other forms of abuse, including physical and mental abuse, financial exploitation and neglect.  The Criminal Law Division in the Office of Attorney General investigates provider fraud in the Medicaid program, insurance fraud and other crimes, according to the PA Attorney General’s office.

Those who have any reason to suspect that an elderly person may be victimized in any way may call (866) 623-2137 or email  elderabuse@attorneygeneral.gov.

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