Commentary

January 11, 2013

Legal Assistance Tip: Stop fraud

Your base legal office welcomes everyone back from the holidays. While the holidays are hopefully a happy time for you and your loved ones, they are also a time when many people fall victim to financial fraud.

Financial fraud takes many forms including mortgage scams, security frauds, Ponzi schemes, predatory lending, credit card scams and identity theft to name only a few. Each year, many people from all demographics fall victim to financial fraud. In 2009, President Barack Obama created the Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force to help combat financial fraud and hold those accountable that brought about the financial crisis.

The task force is a collaborative effort that enlists federal, state and local partners in a multidisciplinary approach to combating financial fraud. It includes 20 federal agencies, 94 United States Attorney’s Offices, and many more state and local actors, making it the largest grouping of law enforcement, investigatory and regulatory agencies ever brought together to combat fraud. In addition to preventing fraud, the task force also focuses on investigating and prosecuting significant financial crimes, ensuring just and effective punishment for perpetrators, recovering funds for victims and addressing discrimination in lending and financial markets.

Beyond combating financial fraud on a larger scale, the task force also provides many resources to promote awareness, prevent fraud and report it regardless of the type. Head to www.stopfraud.gov to find these resources. There you will find recent news stories on different types of fraud, including novel scams that have been affecting the nation. In addition, the website offers links to preventative materials to protect you from common types of financial fraud like identity theft, mortgage fraud and credit card scams. Visit the website to learn how to protect yourself from these financial predators. Lastly, the website offers guidance on how victims or others who have been targeted may report various types of fraud.

For more information, please contact the Base Legal Office at (661) 277-4310. Legal assistance attorneys are available to assist eligible clients Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m., and on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 3 p.m. to 4. Paralegals can provide power of attorney and notary services Monday through Thursday, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., and on Fridays from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. A will or power of attorney will be completed the same day a client walks-in. Expedite the process of getting a will, advance medical directive, health care power of attorney, or any other power of attorney drafted by utilizing the worksheets on the Air Force Legal Assistance website (https://aflegalassistance.law.af.mil/).

In addition to our walk-in services, the legal office now offers an additional way to expedite drafting a will. You may now schedule an appointment on Fridays between 9 a.m. and 10 a.m. to have your will pre-drafted. If you choose to use this process, an attorney will have your will drafted and ready for your review when you arrive for your appointment.

 




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