Commentary: State DOJ offers series on fiscal fraud prevention

By Gina Schoenberg

We are all vulnerable to a financial attack. Whether it be over the phone, through the mail on the internet, or at the hands of a trusted caretaker or adviser, we are all one convincing story or one opportunity too attractive to pass up away from a significant financial hit — and in some instances, financial ruin.

Law enforcement professionals and advocates agree: Once the money leaves your control, it is rarely returned, even when perpetrators are brought to justice. That is what makes prevention so critical and why the Delaware Department of Justice is teaming up with the Delaware Community Reinvestment Action Council’s Money School and AARP Delaware on a series of educational Facebook Live events meant to raise awareness about fraud and abuse.

These “Conversations With the Fraud and Consumer Protection Division of the Department of Justice” will take place monthly between now and January on The Money School’s Facebook Live feed. We will keep these short and digestible, highlighting major issues we see, how our office can help if you are victimized and, most importantly, how to prevent fraud and abuse. We started the series Oct. 26 with a conversation about fraud and scams that target older adults — if you missed it, check out the recording on The Money’s School Facebook page. On Nov. 16 at 2 p.m., we will discuss consumer- and investor-protection issues with AARP Delaware. On Dec. 14 at 2 p.m., our in-house experts will discuss foreclosure prevention, issues related to manufactured housing and common-interest communities, and consumer mediation services. Finally, on Jan. 25 at 2 p.m., our criminal justice professionals will discuss Medicaid fraud, nursing home abuse and neglect, and white-collar crime.

The adage holds true: An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Our Fraud Division is here to help you put the pieces back together, but we would so much rather help you avoid the trauma and stress of victimization in the first place. You work too hard for your money to lose it to the hands of the unscrupulous. Arm yourself with the knowledge you need to avoid common pitfalls by joining us live or watching the videos on your own time. For more information, find us on Facebook at fb.com/de.attorneygeneral or on Twitter and Instagram at @de_doj.

Gina Schoenberg is the Deputy Director of Consumer Protection for the Delaware Department of Justice’s Fraud & Consumer Protection Division.