NASHVILLE – Acting U.S. Attorney Mary Jane Stewart today, reminded the elderly and those responsible for their care to be cautious and vigilant in their financial and healthcare affairs to prevent them from becoming victims of scams and other abuses which target elderly and vulnerable populations.
“As we emerge from the pandemic, it is critical that we inform and educate our older population about the vast number of emerging scams which target the elderly,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Stewart. “Elder-fraud schemes were on the rise even before the pandemic and now we are seeing an explosive amount of fraudulent activity designed to profit from the abuse of senior citizens. The U.S. Attorney’s Office and our law enforcement partners will continue to vigorously pursue individuals and corporations who target the elderly with their scams.”
Individuals are reminded to use caution when encountering high-pressure sales tactics; being asked to pay “up front” fees; responding to unsolicited emails and phone calls from services that were not requested; or being asked to provide personal information, just to name a few examples. Other scams presently on the rise include fake post-vaccine scams; fake unemployment benefit and stimulus scams; grandparent scams; and others pretending to represent law enforcement.
Recent enforcement efforts by the U.S. Attorney’s Office involving scams targeting the elderly include:
- The settlement of False Claims Act allegations against SavaSeniorCare for $11.2 million. Allegations in this case included medically unnecessary rehabilitation therapy services and grossly substandard skilled nursing services provided to elderly patients in nursing homes.
- On May 13, 2021, Fredrick Stow, a former investments advisor, was sentenced to federal prison for defrauding two elderly investors of more than $933,000.
- On May 12, 2021, Karl Hampton and his wife Deborah Hampton, both of Franklin, Tennessee, were charged with defrauding an elderly widow and dementia patient of $1.7 million by convincing the woman that Karl Hampton was her son and acquiring a Power of Attorney over her affairs.
Elder abuse is widespread. Help spread the word and keep our elders informed.
If you are a victim of elder fraud, or know someone who is, take action and call the National Elder Fraud Hotline at 833-372-8311.
More information and additional resources on elder abuse and prevention can be found by visiting the National Center on Elder Abuse website (NCEA) https://ncea.acl.gov . Additional resources can be found here.