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Stuart police launches R.A.V.E. program to combat scams that target seniors

Posted at 3:53 PM, Sep 28, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-29 18:56:54-04

STUART, Fla. — The Stuart Police are making sure retailers can spot the red flags associated with an increasingly popular scam.

This week, the department announced the launch of the new R.A.V.E. Program (Retailers Against the Victimization of the Elderly).

According to Sergeant Brian Bossio, scammers are targeting senior citizens by posing as the IRS.

Many reported cases in Stuart involve a phone call with faulty claims about an outstanding tax debt or arrest warrant.

The scammer may demand the payment be made with funds from a gift card, which makes the funds virtually untraceable.

“If an elderly person comes in and purchases a $1,000 gift card, that’s a red flag,” said Sergeant Bossio.

Sergeant Brian Bossio is focusing on larger retail stores that sell a wide variety of gift cards including Green Dot and iTunes cards.

The R.A.V.E. Program will offer retailers free training sessions and materials to help employees notice a potential scam before the transaction is complete.

However, all store owners and employees are encouraged to report any cases that involve an abnormally large gift card purchase.

If you are a business owner and would like to take steps to become a member of the R.A.V.E. community, contact Sergeant Brian Bossio at 772-288-5339 or by email at