Elder abuse bill waiting to be signed by Governor Reynolds
CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - “You just don’t expect yourself to be that way”, said Sally Taylor of Cedar Rapids.
What started as a normal day on March 15th turned into a nightmare after Sally realized she had fallen for a scam.
“I didn’t understand how people could call for these, but now I know,” she said.
The 88-year old received a text message saying it was the USPS, and money was needed to deliver the package. She initially believed the text to be a scam, but then she started to overthink and wondered if family from the Middle East was sending her a birthday gift.
“As soon as I put my card information in I knew,” she said.
“The elderly are particularly vulnerable to those scams,” said Alzheimer’s Association of Iowa Policy Director Robyn Mills.
Mills said a bill had passed the House and Senate that would add legal penalties for people who commit elder abuse. The bill still needs to be signed by the Governor, but a scammer could face 25-years in prison, assaulting an elderly person would move from a misdemeanor to a felony. Elder abuse is a crime Mills said was happening more often.
“The Iowa Department of Human Services indicated that from January of 2020 to December of 2021, abuse reports went up about 37%,” she said.
Sally was all in favor of changes being made after her experience. She was able to get her card canceled, and no money was taken, but she wants the process of reporting to be easy; being in a situation like that could be a lot for someone to go through in a day.
“I feel as though I learned something,” she said. “If I’m concerned, I just won’t go forward.”
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