A new law recently went into effect stating that those convicted of financial exploitation against senior citizens will face more jail time and higher fines. This is just one of several updates to the state's laws protecting the elderly in Tennessee.
Nashville Public Radio recently published a story titled “New Tennessee Laws Aim To Combat Fraud Against Elders.” The story noted that many of the changes deal with real-world interactions, which are the focus of much of the financial fraud targeting the elderly.
We frequently hear about internet scams of seniors. However, when an elderly person is defrauded, the criminal is usually a relative or close acquaintance.
In other words, a caregiver, says Shelley Courington, advocacy director for AARP-Tennessee. "I would believe that most of those are good. They're good earnest people working to care for their loved ones," she says. "But as in any scenario, there are some bad actors out there."
Under Tennessee’s new law, people who steal from the elderly will receive sentences that are a full class more severe than those who swindle other citizens in the state. In addition, these schemers will have their names recorded in an Elder Abuse Registry.
Tennessee has another new law that allows financial institutions to delay or freeze transactions when they suspect elder fraud—despite the fact the account holder has given his or her consent.
Finally, those individuals who volunteer to work with the elderly are now required to undergo background checks. This is the same type of screening that’s required for professionals working in elder services and counseling.
Reference: Nashville Public Radio (July 5, 2017) “New Tennessee Laws Aim To Combat Fraud Against Elders”