U.S. Attorney General William Barr

The Department of Justice has established a new Transnational Elder Fraud Strike Force to coordinate action against foreign-based fraud schemes that target U.S. older adults, Attorney General William Barr announced Thursday.

“Fraud against the elderly is on the rise. One of the most significant and pernicious causes for this increase is foreign-based fraud schemes,” Barr said in the announcement.

The Justice Department’s Consumer Protection Branch, the U.S. Attorneys’ Offices for six federal districts, the FBI, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service and other organizations will work together on the effort. The Strike Force will focus on investigating and prosecuting individuals and entities associated with the types of foreign-based schemes — telemarketing, mass-mailing and tech-support fraud schemes — that disproportionately  affect older adults.

The group will use analytical tools and investigative approaches to identify perpetrators and will coordinate with foreign law enforcement.