New JFCS Program Helps Senior Crime Victims
JFCS Crime Victim Services
One of the Jewish values that guide our work at JFCS is Kavod: respect for the undeniable humanity of each person. We serve individuals of all backgrounds and at all stages of life. As the seasons shift, our focus turns to our older adult population, who may face hardships in the form of social isolation. The seclusion already experienced by many seniors during the pandemic sadly increases during this time of year. Criminals and scammers are looking to take advantage of that isolation and are using the time of giving to prey upon vulnerable seniors. It’s more important than ever to stay connected to our senior loved ones.
JFCS Crime Victim Services advocates for individuals 60+ who may have experienced crime or a form of elder abuse. Our goal is to promote recovery and increase awareness in the community to avoid potential threats. According to Senior Crime Victim Advocate Paul Troy, “Seniors in our community face unique barriers in the legal system; we provide advocacy to help overcome those barriers, participate fully in society, and live safely.”
Avoid Holiday Scams
According to the AARP, scams targeting seniors are on the rise this year. Learn about how you can avoid falling victim to common scams:
- Research shows that nearly a quarter of gift cards bought or received have no funds on them. Avoid purchasing the first or last card in a stack handled by the general public; instead, try to purchase directly from a retailer’s physical location or website.
- Criminals will often impersonate government agencies, legitimate businesses, and even friends and relatives to get their victims to pay a phony debt using a gift card. This is always a huge red flag for a scam. No legitimate business will demand payment in the form of a girt card.
- Fake charity scams are the number one holiday scam most people encounter this time of year. Use online tools like Charity Navigator, Charity Watch, or BBB Wise Giving Alliance to read reviews and see how your donation is being spent.
- Criminals are now impersonating legitimate shipping companies via email and text to send out phony messages claiming a delivery issue with a link to solve the problem. Never click on this link; call the company directly if you’re uncertain.
Elder abuse comes in many forms and holiday scams are just one way this abuse robs seniors of their dignity and security. JFCS is here to support seniors through Senior Crime Victim Services, both advocating for individuals and educating the public on how to spot the signs of abuse. Together, we can help strengthen our community, connect with isolated older adults, and live the value of Kavod.
If you or someone you know has been the victim of a crime, contact Paul Troy at 502-322-1918.