News Flash


Posted on: September 14, 2023

Mill Valley's Growing Senior Population and the Rise of Elderly Scams

Mill Valley is undergoing a significant surge in its senior population. By 2030, nearly 40% of Mill Valley's community members will be aged 60 or above. Alarmingly, scams targeting this age bracket have soared, with California sadly topping the list for the highest reported losses. 

Recognizing the urgency of this issue, the Mill Valley Police Department collaborated with the Recreation Department and Library to host an “Elder Fraud Community Summit” on August 23, 2023. This initiative's core mission was to arm senior citizens with the knowledge and strategies to fend off senior scams. The event saw enthusiastic participation from over 100 local residents. 

Professionals from Marin County's Financial Abuse Specialist Team, Adult Protective Services, District Attorney’s Office, Public Guardian, and the Ombudsman Program shared their expertise through presentations and in a Q&A session. For those who missed the live event, a recording is provided by the Mill Valley Library. 

Some of the tips shared during the event include the following:

Defensive Tips Against Elder Fraud

Financial Vigilance: Routinely check bank statements and legal documents for anomalies.  

Grandparent Scam Defense: Before acting on distress calls from "grandchildren", authenticate by using known contact details. 

Tech Support Wisdom: Refuse unexpected and or urgent tech support calls, particularly those seeking remote computer access. 

Online Relationship Prudence: Exercise caution with fast-paced online relationships. Resist the urge to share personal details or funds without meeting in person.

Sweepstakes/Lottery Skepticism: Recall that genuine contests don't charge fees or gift cards. Be wary of unexpected winnings. If you didn’t enter, how can you win?

Fraud Alert Updates: Regularly liaise with agencies, like the Marin County District Attorney's Office, to stay informed about current scams.

Guard Your Data: Utilize encryption tools and safe storage methods. 

Digital Health: Ensure your software and systems are always up-to-date. Consider cybersecurity expert consultations for best practices. 

Social Media Discretion: Tweak privacy settings to curtail public visibility. Be prudent about sharing personal and location-based data.

Local Elder Fraud Resources

If you suspect an older or dependent adult is the victim of financial or other form of abuse contact:

Marin County Adult Protective Services and 24-Hour Hotline: (415) 473-2774

If your organization would like a presentation on How to Avoid Scams, contact: Marin County Financial Abuse Specialist Team (FAST), (415) 473-7423

Additional Resources:

Marin County Public Guardian

Long Term Care Ombudsman

Legal Aid of Marin

Marin County Adult Protective Services and 24-Hour Hotline: (415) 473-2774

Marin County District Attorney’s Elder Abuse Prevention Information Line: (415) 473-5050

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