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Terry Goddard Launching Seniors Strike Back Program to Fight Mail Fraud

(Phoenix, Ariz. – May 4, 2007) Seniors throughout Arizona are helping Attorney General Terry Goddard find con artists who target older residents through mail solicitations.

“Seniors Strike Back” is an operation that enlisted senior volunteers from throughout Arizona to save their junk mail during April. Beginning Monday, May 7, in honor of Older Americans Month, the Attorney General’s Office will collect and sort the mail and then take legal actions against companies or people who violate Arizona’s consumer protection laws.

Goddard will be on hand at the first collection and sorting event beginning at 9 a.m. on May 7 at the Sunnyslope Village Alliance offices at 755 E. Hatcher Road. Seniors who have been saving mail can bring it there. Goddard will meet with volunteers who will be sorting the junk mail into various categories. The Attorney General’s Consumer Protection and Advocacy Section will be looking for fraudulent offers of lottery winnings, charity solicitations, magazine subscriptions and other attempts to mislead or defraud Arizona residents.

“The Seniors Strike Back program is a proactive effort to reduce the number of scams being sent by mail,” Goddard said. “The national Do Not Call list, coupled with email spam blockers, make it more difficult for con artists to separate people from their money. Mail is quickly becoming a preferred tool criminals are using to scam Arizona seniors.”

Organizations partnering with the Attorney’s General’s office in the Seniors Strike Back project include AARP Arizona, Arizona Area Agencies on Aging, Arizona First Families, Arizona Interfaith, Arizona Opportunities Industrialization Center, Arizona School Retirees Association, Central Arizona Senior Association, Chicanos Por La Causa, City of Sedona, Coconino County Community Services, Foundation for Senior Living, Friendship Village-Tempe, Greater Phoenix Urban League, Intertribal Council of Arizona, Pima Council on Aging, PORA-Sun City West, Recreation Center, Inc., Sunnyslope Village Alliance and Valle del Sol.

The Attorney General’s Office will be holding sorting events in 12 other Arizona communities where volunteers will sort through the junk mail collected and send it to the Attorney General’s investigators.

The following is a list of the sorting events happening throughout Arizona. These events are open to the media:

Date Time City Venue Address
         
May 7 9 a.m. – noon Phoenix Sunnyslope Village Alliance AG Goddard will attend 755 E. Hatcher Rd.
May 7 1 p.m. – 4 p.m. Phoenix Phoenix Urban League AG Goddard will attend 1402 S. 7th Ave.
May 9 8:30 a.m. – noon Mesa Mesa Senior Center DowntownAG Goddard will attend 247 N. MacDonald
May 14 9 a.m. - noon Prescott Prescott Valley Civic CenterAG Goddard will attend 7501 E. Civic Circle
May 15 9 a.m. - noon Sun City West PORA AG Goddard will attend 13815 Camino del Sol
May 16 9 a.m. - noon South Tucson Sam Lena Library AG Goddard will attend 1607 S. Sixth Ave.
May 21 1 p.m. – 3 p.m. Green Valley Green Valley Mall 101 S. La Canada Dr.
May 22 9 a.m. - noon Tucson Pima Council on Aging 8467 E. Broadway
May 24 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. Sierra Vista Sierra Vista Public Library 2600 E. Tacoma St.
May 30 1 p.m. – 4 p.m. Oro Valley AARP Tucson Info Center 6700 N. Oracle Rd.
May 22 TBA Yuma TBA TBA
TBA TBA Flagstaff TBA TBA
TBA TBA Florence TBA TBA

If you believe you have been a victim of fraud, please contact the Attorney General’s Office in Phoenix at 602.542.5763; in Tucson at 520.628.6504; or outside the Phoenix and Tucson metro areas at 1.800.352.8431. To file a complaint in person, the Attorney General’s Office has 26 satellite offices throughout Arizona with volunteers available to help. Locations and hours are posted on the Attorney General’s Web site at www.azag.gov. An online complaint form is also posted on the Attorney General’s Web site.