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Attorney General Kamala D. Harris Announces San Diego Event with Federal Bureau of Investigation to Help Protect Seniors from Fraud and Identity Theft

Thursday, October 13, 2016
Contact: (415) 703-5837, agpressoffice@doj.ca.gov

SAN DIEGO – Attorney General Kamala D. Harris today announced that the California Department of Justice’s Bureau of Medi-Cal Fraud & Elder Abuse (BMFEA) will participate in an Elder Abuse Fraud Prevention Seminar this Saturday, October 15, in partnership with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Internal Revenue Service (IRS), California Department of Insurance, San Diego Sheriff’s Department, and several other public agencies and community organizations.

“My office is committed to using all the tools at our disposal, including education and outreach, to protect older Americans, who are particularly vulnerable to being preyed upon by scammers,” said Attorney General Harris.  “This important community event will help seniors guard against fraud, scams and identity theft, and provide valuable resources about what to do if they’re targeted by a con artist.  I thank the FBI, IRS, California Department of Insurance and San Diego Sheriff’s Department for their partnership in these important efforts.”

The Elder Abuse Fraud Prevention Seminar is open to the public, free of charge, and will take place on Saturday, October 15, 2016 from 2:00 P.M. – 5:00 P.M. at 451 West Bobier Drive, Vista, CA.  The seminar will include 75-minute anti-fraud sessions and discussions with experts from local law enforcement agencies and businesses.

In addition, there will be informational booths hosted by participating agencies and educational sessions on how to avoid identity theft, what to do if you are a victim of fraud, information about common Internet scams, malicious software, ransomware, securing your home network, and information about telemarketing and investment scams.

Attorney General Harris has made protecting seniors and prosecuting those who defraud, mistreat, and abuse them a key priority.  She reinstituted the Operation Guardian program under the Bureau of Medi-Cal Fraud and Elder Abuse (BMFEA), which helps protect and improve the quality of care for California's elder and dependent adult residents living in skilled nursing facilities and which had been suspended as a result of budget cuts.  In 2015, Attorney General Harris also forged a partnership with AARP California, holding tele-townhalls and sharing consumer and educational resources to protect seniors against scams and schemes.  Earlier this year, Attorney General Harris and AARP California also held Shred Fest 2016, a Los Angeles event where consumers were able to shred personal documents and other sensitive records for free, an important precaution against identity theft. 

The Bureau of Medi-Cal Fraud & Elder Abuse is charged with investigating and prosecuting Medicaid provider fraud, the abuse and neglect of patients in Medicaid-funded residential health care facilities, and investigating fraud in Medicaid program administration.  It is headquartered in Sacramento with five field offices in Sacramento, Burbank, Laguna Woods, San Diego, and West Covina.

The Bureau maintains a toll-free number (1-800-722-0432) for referrals or complaints and offers a simple-to-use complaint form online: http://ag.ca.gov/bmfea/reporting.php.

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