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Terry Goddard Announces Anti-Crime Classes for Seniors

(Phoenix, Ariz. -- Sept. 14, 2009)  Attorney General Terry Goddard today announced plans for his office to host a series of Senior Anti-Crime Universities, designed to teach attendees to detect scams against seniors and help others avoid frauds, scams and abuse.

Each university will offer a half-day of classes in consumer fraud and scams, identity theft, life care planning/health care directives, Medicare/Medicaid fraud, financial exploitation, elder abuse and neglect, Internet safety and charitable giving. Local police will also teach a course in personal safety.

"Keeping Arizona seniors well-informed provides the best defense against frauds and scams," Goddard said. "The Anti-Crime University will present a wealth of useful information to identify and prevent all manner of schemes and ripoffs. Protecting seniors has long ranked as a top priority for the Attorney General's Office, and this program moves our efforts up another notch." 

The first Senior Anti-Crime University will be held Sept. 29 at Friendship Village in Tempe. Others will be held Oct. 15 at the Beatitudes in Phoenix; Oct. 27 at Prescott College in Prescott and Nov. 20 at Pima Community College in Tucson.  More Senior Anti-Crime Universities are being planned statewide in 2010.

The Senior Anti-Crime University is part of the Attorney General’s Senior Sleuths project. Senior Sleuths is a volunteer program to help Arizona seniors protect themselves and prevent others from becoming victims of fraud and abuse. The Attorney General’s Office is recruiting senior volunteers and will be training them to identify and report scams and fraud and to use their knowledge to educate other seniors.

Tasks that can be undertaken by Senior Sleuths include collecting suspicious “junk” mail, keeping a log of telemarketing phone calls received at home, and attending “free” presentations and making reports to the Attorney General's Office.

With additional training, they can answer calls on the AG Elder Help phone line, work in the Attorney General’s satellite offices, staff AG booths at community events or make presentations to community groups.

“Senior Sleuths offers a great opportunity for active, involved seniors to work with the Attorney General’s office to help prevent and detect scams against seniors," Goddard said. "Because so many crooks and con artists take aim at seniors, I want all Arizonans to be armed with the knowledge they need to stay safe and stop crimes before they happen.”

The Senior Anti-Crime University and Senior Sleuths project are partnering with AARP, DES Division of Aging & Adult Services, SMP (Senior Medicare Patrol), Arizona Area Agencies on Aging, Duet: Partners In Health & Aging, All Arizona School Retiree Association, local police departments and other retiree and senior organizations.

These universities classes are free to the public, but space is limited so advance registration is required.  To register online or get more information, go to the SENIORS tab at the Attorney General's Web site:www.azag.gov or email SeniorSleuths@azag.gov.

Copies of the Senior Anti-Crime University flyer and registration form along with the Senior Sleuth registration form are attached.