Thieves targeting the elderly is a growing problem, and to help curb the trend, government and law enforcement officials want to educate the publc.
On Capitol Hill – the Senate Aging Committee spotlighted the abuse elders in our nation endure — as scammers financially exploit them and take their money.
That rings true for Erika Flavin’s parents – they were scammed out of more than $80,000.
“They will never recoup that,” Flavin said.
Flavin says her parents financial abuse started with a phone call by someone claiming to be a public defender representing their grandson saying he was arrested for a DUI.
“And they need 10,000 dollars in cash for bail – my parents kind of freaked and went to the bank withdrew $10,000,” she said.
Flavin says her parents eventually made multiple payments of tens of thousands of dollars.
“Elder abuse is a huge and growing problem nationwide,” Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt said.
Schmidt wants to explore a stronger partnership between federal, state, and local prosecuters to crack down on scam artists.
“It would really help us grow our capacity in the states to deal with elder abuse – we might partner more actively and regularly with federal law enforcement agencies in their regional offices,” he said.
Pennsylvania Senator Bob Casey re-introduced his bipartisan legislation – the Stop Senior Scams Act – that would try to prevent seniors from losing their money
“Create an advisory council to develop the best practices so that banks and financial institutions and other entities that handle money for people are better educated,” he said.
Casey says more stories like Flavin’s need to be heard to create awareness.