#romancescams | Georgia, Federal Officials to Hold Public Tele-Town Hall on COVID-19 Scams


U.S. Attorney’s Office teams up with the SEC, Georgia Secretary of State, and AARP to provide Georgians with information on COVID-19 scams

U.S. Attorney Byung J. “BJay” Pak will join representatives from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Georgia Secretary of State, and the AARP in a tele-town hall meeting to provide information to Georgia residents to help them identify and avoid fraudulent schemes related to the Coronavirus (COVID-19).

“Scammers are taking advantage of the global pandemic in order to swindle U.S. residents, including many seniors, out of their hard-earned money,” said U.S. Attorney Byung J. “BJay” Pak. “Our public outreach efforts are designed to provide knowledge that will empower Georgia’s seniors to identify, guard against, and report such scams.”

“As our country deals with the impact of COVID-19, fraudsters will use these events to lure investors into scams.  We are pleased to partner with the United States Attorney’s Office in Atlanta, the Georgia Secretary of State and the AARP to talk with seniors and other investors about ways to recognize and report these schemes,” said SEC Atlanta Regional Director, Richard R. Best.

“Led by the Securities and Charities Division and its Director Noula Zaharis, we have been warning Georgians about potential scams since the early days of coronavirus in our state,” said Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger. “These frauds take advantage of the elderly and the scared, robbing them of the money they need to get through tough times. I am excited to partner with the U.S. Attorney Pak and the Securities and Exchange Commission to get the word out and protect the people of Georgia.”

U.S. Attorney Pak, SEC Atlanta Regional Director Richard R. Best, Georgia Secretary of State Securities and Charities Division Director Noula Zaharis, and AARP Georgia State President Lee Baker will be the speakers.  The moderator for the event will be seven-time Emmy award winner, and host of GPB’s Lawmakers, Donna Lowry.  The tele-town hall will happen on Thursday, May 21, 2020 from 6:20 p.m., until 7:20 p.m.

AARP members will receive an email inviting them to participate in the town hall. Those who wish participate may register here https://vekeo.com/georgiasecstate/.

During the current health crisis, federal investigators and prosecutors continue to fulfill their critical mission of protecting public safety. Federal officials have prioritized the disruption, investigation and prosecution of crimes related to COVID-19, including fraudulent schemes, unapproved treatments, and scams related to stimulus money. During the tele-town hall, federal officials will discuss the current COVID-19 schemes and will provide tips on how to avoid becoming a victim.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Georgia is part of Georgia’s COVID-19 Fraud Task Force.  This Task Force works to better protect the citizens of Georgia from criminal fraud arising from the pandemic. Georgia’s three U.S. Attorneys, the Attorney General of Georgia, and the Executive Counsel for the Governor’s Office serve on the task force. If you think you are a victim of a scam or attempted fraud involving COVID-19, contact the National Center for Disaster Fraud Hotline at 866-720-5721, or via email at www.justice.gov/DisasterComplaintForm.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Georgia is part of the Department of Justice Transnational Elder Fraud Strike Force. The Strike Force focuses on investigating and prosecuting defendants associated with foreign-based fraud schemes that disproportionately affect American seniors.  These include romance scams, phone scams, mass-mailing fraud schemes, and tech-support fraud schemes.  For further information on these scams, see https://www.justice.gov/elderjustice/senior-scam-alert.



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