With more Americans turning 65 and living longer, the opportunities for financial fraud on seniors grows exponentially. The State of Ohio is about to add add an additional level of protection for seniors this month with SB 158.
Currently, all 50 states have elder abuse laws that require attorney, doctors, hospitals, home health care agencies, clergy and others to report suspicious activity for financial abuse. We expect the Ohio bill, which has already passed the State Senate, to be effective September 29, 2018. In addition to greater fines for abusers, it will require the state to distribute no fewer than six public awareness publications each year on the warning signs of senior fraud.
At DL MoneyMatters, senior fraud has been top of mind since the beginning. DLMM owner Diana Louiso is a Cincinnati native with over 30 years of hands-on accounting experience, but when her professional life dovetailed with the family experience as caretaker of an aging parent overseeing financial matters and personal care, Diana was motivated to make both business and personal “money matters” her business. As the business grew, DLMM added cash management services, bookkeeping services, and year-end support for small business and entrepreneurs.
According to the code, “any person with reasonable cause to believe that an adult is suffering abuse, neglect, or exploitation who makes a report pursuant to this section or who testifies in any administrative or judicial proceeding arising from such a report, or any employee of the state or any of its subdivisions who is discharging responsibilities under section 5101.65 of the Revised Code shall be immune from civil or criminal liability on account of such investigation, report, or testimony, except liability for perjury, unless the person has acted in bad faith or with malicious purpose.” We fully support this Ohio Revised Code 5101.63(A).
This move by the Ohio legislature will heighten our awareness and should yours as well. Our daily money management employees are trained to spot potential fraud and we have always taken the necessary steps to inform our clients and senior caretakers regarding any suspicious activity.
Below are links to learn more about the threat of senior fraud and why it’s so important now.
Mike DeWine Ohio Attorney General—Elder Fraud