RELEASE: Obenshain Bill Helps Elder Abuse Prevention

February 5, 2020

 Obenshain’s Elder Abuse Prevention Legislation Passes Senate

Legislation Would Increase Interagency Communication Dealing with Elder Financial Exploitation

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT: Jennifer Aulgur

PHONE: (804) 833-1081

EMAIL: jennifer@markobenshain.com

RICHMOND, VA  – Today, Senator Mark Obenshain released the following statement regarding the passage of SB 695 in the Virginia Senate.  SB 695 directs the Office of the Attorney General to establish ongoing communication with the Department for Aging and Rehabilitative Services  to ensure that adults 60 years of age or older or 18 years of age or older and incapacitated have access to information regarding the prevention of potential patterns of financial exploitation.

Obenshain said, “Sadly, financial exploitation in Virginia is on the rise.  My bill will increase communication between the agencies that deal with consumer protection and elder financial abuse and prevention.  Hopefully, this will promote better awareness, education and perhaps increased analysis of trends in elder abuse financial exploitation.”

SB 695 was modeled after similar legislation passed last year in Pennsylvania.   

According to a recent report from the Virginia Department of Aging and Rehabilitative Services, in FY 2018 Adult Protective Services had 12,000 substantiated abuse, neglect, or exploitation cases.  Financial exploitation jumped by about 30% in 2018 compared to the previous year. Data from the Federal Trade Commission’s Do Not Call Data Book for 2019 shows that in Virginia, over 178,000 telemarketing complaints were filed, and Virginia ranked #8 in number of complaints.

Earlier this week, the Rockingham County Sheriff’s Office warned of a new telephone scam targeting Shenandoah Valley residents where the caller pretends to be a member of the sheriff’s office and tells people they have missed court, have a warrant, or owe a fine and must pay over the phone.

“Senior citizens are one of our most vulnerable populations.  Unfortunately, when they become victim of a financial scam it’s often difficult to recover any of the money which they have lost.  It is my hope that this bill will help our seniors stay vigilant and not fall victim to frauds and scams,” Obenshain continued. 

Senator Obenshain represents the twenty-sixth district in the Senate of Virginia. The district includes the city of Harrisonburg and the counties of Warren, Shenandoah, Page Rappahannock and Rockingham (part).  He is a member of the Senate Commerce & Labor Committee.

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