Combating Crime Against Elderly in Roanoke - WSET.com - ABC13

Combating Crime Against Elderly in Roanoke

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Reporter: David Tate

Roanoke, VA - The Federal government is teaming up with law enforcement and nonprofits to combat the growing problem of elderly fraud in the Roanoke Valley.

Details of the task force were announced Wednesday at a press conference in Roanoke.

While people preying on the elderly is nothing new, here in the Roanoke Valley, in a number of key criminal statistics crime against the elderly is up more than 30 % this year.

That has forced the US Attorney's office to team up with all levels of local law enforcement, and groups like the Better Business Bureau and the Local Office on Aging, to help educate area seniors about what to look for.

More than 800 fliers are set to go out on the next Meals on Wheels run with other creative ways of educating seniors coming in the near future.

"If they know, before they wire money or before they provide that personal information, to pick up the phone and call us we can keep them from losing their thousands of dollars. So all this outreach is a huge help," said Julie Wheeler, with BBB of Western Virginia.

This task force came about some three months ago but only made it to the public eye Wednesday as all these groups have realized this criminal spike happening here in the Roanoke Valley.

Seniors are encouraged to get in touch with the Better Business Bureau or your local police if you have concerns or questions. The Better Business Bureau number is 1-800-533-5501.

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