Senior Citizen Crime Victim Seminar
September 19, 2013- Howard Ondick
HARRISBURG- With elder abuse a growing problem,
Senator Judy Schwank and top prosecutors
from Berks County and the state today provided tips for staying safe to a
packed house of senior citizens at Bern Evangelical Lutheran Church in
Leesport, Berks County.
“With the third highest percentage of
senior citizens in the country, we need to take steps every day to make sure
our grandparents, friends and neighbors are not falling victim to scam artists
and crooks,” Senator Schwank said during her Senior Crime Prevention
Seminar. “In some parts of Pennsylvania,
elder abuse is more of a problem than child abuse,” she said.
Berks County District Attorney John
Adams, Berks County First Assistant District Attorney Theresa Johnson, and
state Attorney General Senior Public Protection Community Liaison Dave
Shallcross helped 125 seniors who attended the seminar identify con artists who
are trying to steal their money or property or physically hurt them, especially
as we get closer to the Thanksgiving and Christmas holiday season.
Statistically, senior citizens often fall
prey to identity theft, and charities, telemarketing and sweepstakes fraud. But
they are also victims of sexual and psychological abuse and neglect.
Pennsylvania’s fastest growing population
is residents who are
85 years old and older. The attorney general’s office and the Berks
County District Attorney’s office have elder abuse units that investigate
crimes against senior citizens.
Berks County’s elder abuse unit offers
tips on its web page, as does the attorney general’s office. Senator Schwank’s
office can also help by calling 610-929-2151.
Senator Schwank is a member of the Senate
Aging & Youth Committee in the Pennsylvania Senate.