The Protecting Seniors from Fraud Act: Status of the Triad Program

GAO-05-146R Published: Nov 23, 2004. Publicly Released: Nov 23, 2004.
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The Protecting Seniors from Fraud Act of 2000 directed the Comptroller General to submit a report to Congress on the effectiveness of the Triad program by April 4, 2005. The program, sponsored at the national level by the National Sheriffs' Association (NSA), provides advice, training, and technical assistance to communitybased crime prevention programs for senior citizens but does not fund them. These community-based groups typically are partnerships among local law enforcement officials, seniors, and sometimes other community members to develop and expand crime prevention programs for seniors in their communities. NSA has sponsored the Triad program with funds provided by various Department of Justice (DOJ) grants. The act's provisions included support for the Triad senior fraud prevention program, the dissemination of information to states to raise awareness about the dangers of telemarketing and sweepstakes fraud, and mandates to study crimes against seniors and to collect statistics on crimes disproportionately affecting seniors. With regard to our report, the act specified that it include an analysis of the Triad program and activities, identify impediments to establishing community-based Triad groups across the nation, and make recommendations to improve the effectiveness of the Triad program. In January 2004, NSA received grant funds to continue its Triad program. However, by October 2004, an NSA official told us that they had not completed all their planned activities. In addition, data were not available to determine the effectiveness of the Triad program. Therefore, this letter describes (1) how the Triad program operates at the local level and (2) the current status of NSA's program implementation. In addition, we are providing information on the status of DOJ mandates in the act regarding data on certain crimes against seniors.

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