RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) – In observance of World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, Attorney General Jason Miyares is reminding Virginians of the resources and initiatives his office offers to help solve and prevent cases of elder abuse and neglect.

Miyares’s office has taken several recent steps to fight elder abuse within Virginia. This includes releasing consumer protection resources, preventing and prosecuting Medicaid fraud and supporting legislation that aims to protect senior citizens.

“Senior citizens are among scammers’ most common targets,” said Miyares. “Criminals looking to scam Virginians out of their hard-earned money target elderly citizens with grandparent scams, robo calls and identity theft, among others to deceive them into giving away personal identification and financial information.”

Miyares has also worked with the General Assembly to pass two pieces of legislation, one of which would increase to the penalty for those who financially exploit elderly Virginians by misusing the power of attorney, the other would give greater protections to the elderly.

The attorney general also has jurisdiction in place to investigate elder abuse and neglect in the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit (MFCU). The MFCU is staffed with professionals who are highly trained in elder abuse and neglect cases. This includes investigators, prosecutors and nurse investigators.

The unit also participates in multi-jurisdictional task forces which investigate health care providers who abuse or neglect the eldery in healthcare facilities.

More information about the services that the Office of the Attorney General offers seniors can be found on its website. If you would like to report a suspected case of Medicaid fraud or have questions, please contact the office at 804-371-0779 or 1-800-371-0824, or email them at MFCU_mail@oag.state.va.us.