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September 20, 2023 47 mins

Do you know someone over the age of 70? Have you received a text message lately stating you had a package that was going to be destroyed if you didn't follow the link? Did you know that older adults are more likely to be scammed by these? That in 2021 over 90,00 older adults were taken advantage of for over 1.6 Billion Dollars! This episode goes over ways to prevent these scams as well as how to report them if they happen. 
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Melissa Powers began her legal career in 1991 working as an Assistant Prosecuting Attorney in Hamilton County’s Juvenile, Municipal, and Common Pleas Courts. Most notably, in 1997, she obtained the confession from Joseph Paul Franklin, a white-supremacist serial killer.  This confession finally solved the 17-year-old double murder of two boys in Cincinnati.

In 1998, Melissa left the Prosecutor’s Office to begin her private litigation practice, where she specialized in criminal defense and civil litigation.

In 2006, Governor Bob Taft appointed Melissa to serve on the Hamilton County Municipal Court.  During her 10 years in the Municipal Court bench, she established the first Hamilton County Veterans Treatment Court that incorporated an innovative team approach and community collaboration to address the unique needs of justice-involved combat veterans. 

In 2016, Melissa was elected to serve on the Hamilton County Juvenile Court.  There, she presided over custody, dependency, and delinquency cases; including hundreds of violent felonies committed by juvenile offenders.  Melissa was the Juvenile Court Administrative Judge from 2020-2022.  

On January 24, 2023, Melissa was sworn in as Hamilton County Prosecutor to serve the unexpired term of former Prosecutor Joe Deters.

Melissa is a lifelong Cincinnatian, graduating from McAuley High School in 1979, the University of Cincinnati in 1984, and the University of Cincinnati College of Law in 1991.  She has served on numerous boards, including Cincinnati Works, Operations Legal Help Ohio, Cincinnati Fire Foundation, and the Tri-State Veterans Community Alliance.  Melissa is married and is the proud mother of four children and grandmother of four grandchildren.

Prosecutor Powers created Hamilton County’s first Elder Justice Unit in 2023, with a team of experienced and dedicated attorneys and professionals who assist in prosecuting crimes against the elderly and help facilitate connections to community resources and supports for victims and their families. The Prosecutor’s Office is proud to have formed partnerships with public and private agencies to deliver a full continuum of quality services that safeguard seniors and dependent adults in Hamilton County.
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Key Takeaways

  • Proactivity is key to prevention
  • Know what to look out for
    • No one should reach out to you asking for gift cards
    • Shred your mail and other documents you are not using
    • A.I. can now clone voices to sound like people you know
  • If you have an issue contact your local police department or aging agency
  • Hamilton County OH task force number is 513-946-SCAM
  • June 15, 2024 - Save the Date for Elder Care Awareness Day event in Hamilton Co. Ohio

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Contact Information

  • Elder Justice Unit (Hamilton County Ohio)
    • Phone 513-946-SCAM (7226)
    • https://hcpros.org/elder-justice-unit/ 
  • Social Media
    • Facebook and Instagram (Melissa Powers Hamilton County Prosecutor)
  • National Organization to assist Older Adults
    • AARP - www.aarp.org
    • Pro Seniors - www.proseniors.org
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