Scam prevention program launched in Caroline County

By Sunni Blevins - bio | email

CAROLINE, VA (WWBT) - There is a program in Caroline County to protect senior citizens from scams.  The TRIAD program combines resources from law enforcement and senior communities to fight common crimes against the elderly.

TRIAD refers to the three national organizations that originally partnered to create this program: AARP, the international association of chiefs of police and the national sheriff's association. The goal is simple: stop criminals and scam artists from preying on seniors by raising awareness.

A few strokes of a pen launches a major crime prevention effort in Caroline County.  Protecting seniors is becoming even more important.  By the year 2025, one in four people will be age 60 or older.  From home improvement scams to fake checks, isolation and health issues often make the elderly an easy target for criminals, and these days the internet is making that even easier.

"That has created more avenues that look pretty lucrative to scam artists than we have had in our history; it used to be a little more traditional; it's the can I fix your house routine, and you pay half and you never see them again or mail scams, but now we've got them via email; you've got web components," said Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli.

TRIAD brings together law enforcement, churches and other organizations like adult protective services dedicated to the welfare of seniors.  The key is education and awareness.  The more seniors who are on the lookout for criminals and know the types of scams out there, the less victims we'll likely see in Virginia.

The program has been successful on an international level with a number of local communities participating.  Henrico county's TRIAD program has been operating since 1999 and members have seen the need for these efforts.

"It doesn't matter how many times in the newspaper, the radio, NBC 12, people are still getting scammed and we need to reinforce what's been taught in the news media, we need to let people know that people are out there that are up to no good," said Judy Schwerdtfeger with Henrico TRIAD.

For more, see this website

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