Elderly Scam Law - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

Elderly Scam Law

Even amid a struggling economy, shrinking pensions, and vanishing Social Security benefits, financial scammers continue to target the elderly.

But now a new law aimed at cracking down on scammers defrauding the elderly hopes to curb that trend.

What the law does is effectively increase the severity of certain fraud and forgery violations if the victim is sixty-five or older.

The bill was passed unanimously in both the house and the senate, with the hope that harsher penalties would serve to protect those most vulnerable to financial predators.

As of now, any forgery or identity theft against an elderly person will be increased to the next highest category of offense under the texas penal code.

And abusing an elderly person's credit card will be tried as a third-degree felony rather than a state jail felony.

"That's been the norm for the legislature in regards to individuals' children, elderly individuals, those people that are less capable of protecting themselves, the legislature generally takes steps to make those penalties greater,"said Randall Sims, Potter County District Attorney.

Sims went on to say that given the texas legislature's track record over the last three sessions, the punishment will likely continue to increase.

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