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Scams against elderly increase during pandemic

South Euclid police need tips from public
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Posted at 5:32 PM, Dec 14, 2021

SOUTH EUCLID, Ohio — South Euclid Police have detectives working to catch the killer of 91-year-old Essie Henry. Her body was found in the bushes near an apartment building on November 4.

Police are also looking for a man considered to be a person of interest in the sexual assault of an 81-year-old that happened just days later.

“I can’t rule anything in or out. There is no evidence to suggest that both are connected,” said South Euclid Police Officer Joe Di Lillo.

Di Lillo said these shocking crimes against the elderly don’t happen often in South Euclid. Instead, he said, the elderly are more commonly targeted for money.

“Fraud related where bank account information is compromised, credit card information used without the consent of the individual who owns the card,” said Di Lillo.

It is such a problem that the Department of Justice in 2017 started the Elder Justice Imitative.

“During the pandemic, we’ve seen an increase based on older Americans being more vulnerable, more isolated from others,” said Brian McDonough, Assistant United States Attorney, Elder Justice Coordinator Northern District of Ohio.

The Elder Justice Imitative not only prosecutes the scammers but aims to educate older Americans about scams.

South Euclid police are also trying to educate the elderly but reminding them to never give out financial information over the phone, keep doors locked, keep outside lights on, and don’t open the door for someone you don’t know. Police recommend calling them and having an officer check out the person.

The Elder Justice Imitative also has a hotline set up 1-833-FRAUD-11 or 1-833-372-8311.

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