SOS Partners with AARP, Georgia’s U.S. Attorney, & SEC To Protect Seniors from COVID-19 Fraud

Staff Report From Georgia CEO

Wednesday, May 13th, 2020

The Secretary of State’s Division of Securities and Charities is partnering with the AARP, U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Georgia BJ Pak and the Securities and Exchange Commission’s Atlanta Regional Office on an effort to protect Georgia’s seniors from COVID-19 related fraud and deceit. SheLeads, an effort of the Secretary of State’s office, and partner organizations will hold a webinar for senior citizens providing tips and guidance on how to spot and avoid COVID-19 related scams.

“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 AARP, U.S. Attorney Pak and the Securities and Exchange Commission to get the word out and protect the people of Georgia.”

“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,” said SEC Atlanta Regional Director Richard R. Best. “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.” 

On Thursday, May 21, at 6:20 pm, Securities and Charities Division Director Noula Zaharis will join AARP Georgia State President, SEC Atlanta Regional Office Regional Director Richard Best, and U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Georgia Byungj. “Bjay” Pak for a free tele-town hall moderated by Donna Lowry, the host of GPB’s lawmakers.

As COVID-19 continues to cause turmoil in the economy, scammers will try to defraud and deceive Georgians, using fear to trick innocent people who are already struggling during tough economic times. SheLeads is happy to partner with experts in identifying and defending against fraud to protect vulnerable populations such as Georgia’s elderly. The Securities and Charities Division of the Office of the Secretary of State is tasked with oversight of the securities industry in Georgia, among other responsibilities, and will be able to provide unique insight on the kinds of scams and frauds Georgia’s elderly should look out for, in addition to guidance on what to do if Georgians are solicited for a COVID-19 scam.

The AARP will be providing the infrastructure for the tele-townhall and will be encouraging its millions of members to participate in the town hall.

Those who would like to register for free the town hall, sign up HERE.