State’s Attorney’s Office offering presentations to help senior citizens protect against financial scams, identity theft

March 10

JOLIET – Will County State’s Attorney James Glasgow reminds the public that his Division of Crime Prevention is available to present informational seminars to senior citizens on how to shield themselves against financial scams and identity theft.

The Division of Crime Prevention has talked with hundreds of senior citizens at nursing homes, senior citizen expos and churches across Will County to provide important information on how they can protect themselves from common scams and identity theft.

Veteran police investigators and other experts from State’s Attorney Glasgow’s office are available to answer questions, distribute educational materials and explain how to avoid falling victim to financial predators who want to steal the life savings of elderly people.

Pete Piazza, chief investigator for the Will County State’s Attorney’s Office, leads many of the presentations and provides seniors with detailed information on how to guard against scammers.

State’s Attorney Glasgow also formed a Financial Crimes Prosecution Unit in 2008 that specializes in untangling complex cases of financial exploitation, identity theft and loan fraud that target vulnerable elderly citizens.

In one instance, the unit worked with the Illinois Attorney General’s Office to help an 83-year-old woman regain access to her life savings after she was convinced by a financial planner to tie up her money in a 10-year annuity with heavy penalties for early withdrawal. The case was resolved without criminal charges; the money was returned to the woman and the annuity was canceled without penalty.

The Financial Crimes Prosecution can assist those who have fallen victim to scams. But Glasgow noted that senior citizens who attend presentations by the law enforcement experts in his office receive important information that makes them less vulnerable to unscrupulous predators.

“I formed the Financial Crimes Prosecution Unit to crack down on swindlers who try to take advantage of senior citizens,” Glasgow said. “But the best way to fight off con artists is through prevention. The informational seminars that my office provides give seniors the tools they need to keep their life savings secure.”

For information on arranging a presentation for your senior citizen group, church club, retirement community or any other civic organization, contact the Director of Crime Prevention at (815) 727-8742.

The Division of Crime Prevention also can arrange for presentations on gang awareness, Internet safety, Character Education, teen drug and alcohol awareness and domestic violence prevention strategies.