Grant Fights Senior Scams

By: Venton D. Blandin
By: Venton D. Blandin

May 17, 2005

Virginia is taking extra steps to keep seniors from being victimized by frauds and scams.

The Attorney General's office is stepping up to combat scam artists who prey on the elderly in Virginia. The office is contributing thousands of dollars in grant funding--funding, that can go a long way to protect those most vulnerable.

They are often approached by telephone calls, or even person to person, and usually become part of a scam due to being lonely, and wanting to hear someone's voice.

"They agree to some of the things that are asked of them, and receive information," said Joyce Gentry, with the Jefferson Area Board of Aging.

Seniors who do those things often become a target.

Attorney General Judith Jadgmann announced her office will contribute $50,000 in grant funding to local law enforcement and elderly organizations such as the Jefferson Area Board of Aging to educate our seniors which is something needed in the senior community.

"It would provide for materials we could use in presentations," added Gentry.

To receive the grant money an organization must apply to the attorney general's office by submitting proposals on how to use the money. The proposal must educate seniors on consumer protection and fraud prevention.

"We just hope people will be more alerted to what's out there," added Gentry.

Grant applications will be made available to organizations in the partnership by May 25th, and submissions will be due June 22nd. The number in the partnership expanded from 114 to 200 under the leadership of Former Attorney General Jerry Kilgore.

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