Indiana’s attorney general is cracking down on people who prey on seniors.
Betty Klassen was scammed out of thousands of dollars because she was a trusting, easy target.
“I believed that it was real thing and it was going to make our lives different,” Klassen said.
Betty got hit by a phone scam and the bad guys got her money. Other seniors are manipulated into giving up property or an inheritance, sometimes by family members.
“We’ve seen an increase in consumer scams since 2009 really that’s when I first got elected and the economy bottomed out,” said Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller.
And, because the way some laws are worded, the scammers don’t get prosecuted.
“Unfortunately, in many of these cases to this point in time, the senior is not able to get recourse under law because perhaps it doesn’t rise up to the level of a theft,” said State Senator Tim Lanane, D-District 25.
Senator Lanane said sometimes it doesn’t rise up to the level of theft because the senior did sign their name on the document that released their property but what you didn’t see was how the senior was coerced or intimidated.
If scammers are paying any attention to what’s happening at the Indiana legislature they’re not going to like what they’re seeing. If they deceive a senior out of property or possessions the attorney general is going to bring the hammer down.
“It’s mostly to close the gaps in our statues that don’t really address the fact that people are being targeted because they are seniors,” Zoeller said.
So the attorney general and Senator Lanane are teaming up to close loopholes in Indiana law with new legislation in Senate Bill 382, also known as the “Senior Consumer Protection Act.”
“The vulnerability and the fact that they have some resources really make them a target, that’s why we need to focus on the senior population,” Zoeller said.
Now, hopefully Betty will only be telling stories about her grandchildren instead of scammers.