Message From the Director
A growing number of older Americans become victims of financial fraud each year. Many of these victims never report their victimization and, consequently, do not receive the specialized services and intervention they need. In other instances, victims may report the crime but few specialized services may be available to them in their community. This bulletin spotlights a promising program in the city and county of Denver, Colorado that has addressed the issue of financial fraud committed against the elderly, using a holistic approach that incorporates intervention, services and support, and public awareness outreach.
In 2002, with funding provided by the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA), the Office for Victims of Crime (OVC) awarded a grant to the Denver District Attorney's Office to develop a demonstration project called the Communities Against Senior Exploitation (CASE) Partnership. The Denver District Attorney's Office partnered with faith communities to provide community-based services for elder financial fraud prevention, intervention, reporting, and victim support. The CASE Partnership has been particularly successful in raising awareness of financial fraud among older individuals, including those with little or no English proficiency. Three other judicial districts in Colorado have successfully replicated the CASE Partnership. With additional funding from BJA, the CASE Partnership will be replicated in 20 additional sites across the country in the coming year.
As the crime victims' field begins to address the emerging issue of financial fraud, OVC is committed to providing information on promising practices that illuminate the devastating emotional and financial impact of this crime, and provide comprehensive, specialized services for these victims. This bulletin, "Partnering with Faith Communities to Provide Elder Fraud Prevention, Intervention, and Victim Services," highlights the innovative collaboration between the Denver District Attorney's Office and over 200 faith community partners in Denver. It provides key information and "lessons learned" that may be useful to other communities across the Nation that are interested in developing a similar initiative.