State report finds fewer economic crimes against seniors in 2020

Florida recovered $1.7 million for the state’s seniors last year in refunds, savings, and money simply stolen from them. It’s part of an ongoing effort to fight exploitation and fraud.

Volunteers helped 11,000 seniors in 2020. Attorney General Ashley Moody says criminals continued to prey on this vulnerable group even during the pandemic.

“As COVID-19 rapidly spread across the world, criminals doubled down on efforts to target seniors—but that didn’t deter Seniors vs. Crime volunteers,” said Moody. “Not only did they help protect their fellow seniors who had been victimized, but they also provided thousands of Floridians with the tools needed to avoid scams—all at no cost to seniors. While this latest report is promising, our work protecting Florida’s seniors is far from over. I remain as dedicated as ever to protecting older Floridians from exploitation which is why I am working with Senator Danny Burgess and Representative Colleen Burton on legislation to strengthen senior protection in Florida.”

The state’s new “Seniors vs. Crime” report show complaints reported to the state were down last year, from 1,944 in 2019 to 1,783 in 2020. Complaints have been trending down since 2014.

The annual report shows what the state has been doing to help prevent crime and fraud targeting seniors.

These aren’t necessarily crimes, in many cases, they’re instances where a senior needed some help getting money back from an unhelpful business.

Northeast Florida had 300 new cases last year, where nearly $149,657 were recovered.

The report lists a series of crimes or situations where a senior needed help

It included a canceled European historical tour canceled because of the pandemic.

As well as a Fernandina beach couple having trouble with a contractor who took a $1,500 deposit with no work done and a Putnam county handyman did a poor job of making repairs to a woman’s home which caused interior damage.

You can make an online complaint on this website – seniorsvscrime.com -- where you can ask for help.

The Seniors vs. Crime Project was founded in 1989 with the mission to help prevent crime and fraud, aid consumers in resolving disputes, and assist the Florida Attorney General’s Office with its mission through the work of Florida senior volunteers—referred to as Senior Sleuths by Seniors vs. Crime.

Since Moody took office, Seniors vs. Crime has helped recover, refund, and save more than $3.4 million for older Floridians.

Moody will be in Naples on Thursday afternoon to announce the latest successes of the Seniors vs. Crime Project.


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