This week was All Anti-Fraud, All the Time, for National Consumer Protection Week (NCPW). Re-building a Fraud and Consumer Protection Unit here at PCAO was a daily dream for the entirety of last year, but when the team ambitiously said we should launch it in just the second month of our new administration, in time for NCPW, I had my doubts.
Turns out, there is nothing this leadership team can’t tackle.
Dan South, our Chief Criminal Deputy, led the first Southern Arizona Anti-Fraud Task Force meeting with the Arizona Attorney General’s Office, the US Attorney’s Office & nearly 30 fraud specialists from a dozen law enforcement agencies. Already the sharing of intelligence has improved our tracking of fraud patterns across the community.
Tony Gallego and Patrick Robles, our community outreach coordinator, filmed and distributed an informal chat with tips on how we can protect ourselves. We published an anti-fraud op-ed in the Arizona Daily Star, as well as resources on where to seek help, thanks to the work of James ‘Jimmy’ Fein, returning to PCAO from his stint as a Consumer Protection Attorney when Sen. Dennis DeConcini ran this Office. And thanks to Colin Wolff (and to my true delight), we now have a ‘Fraud Unit’ tab on our website that includes a Consumer Fraud Complaint Form, allowing reports of fraud to be submitted locally.
Jack Chin, Chief of this new Fraud Unit, is already working with excited attorneys inside the Office and receiving calls from attorneys outside, who want to join our movement.
As Jimmy says, we can end a lot of fraud just by launching a heavy education campaign. ¡Vámanos!
To be continued,