POSITIVELY 50+

How To Protect Utah’s Elderly From Financial Abuse

Jun 17, 2021, 1:21 PM | Updated: 2:22 pm

HIGHLAND, Utah — Elder fraud often goes unreported and is difficult to prosecute, but the crime can cost seniors huge sums of money and years of grief.

Brett and Alan Ormsby’s grandfather was hardworking and thrifty. “James Robert Miller was his name,” said Brett Ormsby, who lives in Highland.

“He grew up in the Great Depression,” Ormsby said, adding his grandfather was also generous. “He paid for our missions and helped people with schooling.”

Twenty years ago, he invested in some properties out of state.

“What they really were doing was kind of running a Ponzi scheme. They were taking money in from a variety of investors and then not putting it back into any of the apartment complexes,” said Alan Ormsby, AARP Utah state director.

Their grandfather lost “over $3.5 million,” Brett Ormsby said.

Sadly, elder fraud is on the rise.

“We’ve seen millions of dollars taken from seniors,” said Nan Mendenhall, director of the state’s Adult Protective Services Division. She said they’ve seen a 25% increase in two years, and it’s usually someone they trust.

“Someone close to the grandparent or parent is the alleged perpetrator in these type of cases,” Mendenhall said.

Red Flags

Experts said it’s important to know the signs of financial exploitation.

According to Adult Protective Services, they include:

  • Disappearance of possessions
  • Being forced to sell your home or change the will
  • Getting overcharged for home repairs

“Often, they’re without any means,” Mendenhall said. “They’re not getting their bills paid, they’re going without food.”

Mendenhall suggested letting someone you trust review contracts. “You can never be too careful,” she said.

The Ormsbys’ grandfather won a lawsuit. “It was very comforting to have my grandfather realize, ‘No, I was defrauded,'” Brett Ormsby said. He collected little money.

Still, his legacy is one money can’t buy. “Grandchildren, children, great-grandchildren, and they’re all doing well.”

If you suspect elder fraud, Adult Protective Services can help. Reporting it is anonymous.

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

Positively 50+

...
Ayanna Likens

New class helps seniors improve their balance

According to the CDC, falls are the leading cause of injury and death among adults 65 and older. But they do not have be an inevitable part of aging, which is why the Draper Senior Center is now offering a Tai Chi class.
19 days ago
...
Ayanna Likens

Volunteers helping homebound seniors feel a little less lonely this holiday season

The most wonderful time of year can also be the loneliest time of year for those that don't have any family close by. But AARP volunteers are helping them feel a little less lonely.
2 months ago
Medicare open enrollment is now open until December 7th and there is help out there if you are look...
Ayanna Likens

Wanting to change your Medicare plan? There’s help out there

Choosing a health care plan can be overwhelming, especially for older Americans who want to be prepared if their health takes a turn.
3 months ago
The 35th Annual Senior Games take place in St. George through October 15....
Ayanna Likens

Thousands competing in 35th annual Huntsman World Senior Games in St. George

Seniors from all over the world have traveled to Southern Utah to play in the 35thannual Huntsman Senior Games.
4 months ago
...
Ayanna Likens

Moab woman receives award for helping build affordable housing

Home and rent prices continue to rise across Utah, and in the Moab, it's become a crisis. But one woman is trying to fix that.
5 months ago
In the last two elections women over 50 made up 30% of the overall voter turnout. (AARP)...
Ayanna Likens

Women voters over 50 are a crucial voting bloc in the upcoming election

A new survey from AARP revealed that women voters over 50 are a crucial part of the election turnout.
6 months ago

Sponsored Articles

vintage photo of lighting showroom featuring chandeliers, lamps, wall lights and mirrors...
Lighting Design

History of Lighting Design | Over 25 Years of Providing Utah With the Latest Trends and Styles

Read about the history of Lighting Design, a family-owned and operated business that paved the way for the lighting industry in Utah.
Fiber Optical cables connected to an optic ports and Network cables connected to ethernet ports...
Brian Huston, CE and Anthony Perkins, BICSI

Why Every Business Needs a Structured Cabling System

A structured cabling system benefits businesses by giving you faster processing speeds and making your network more efficient and reliable.
notebook with password notes highlighted...
PC Laptops

How to Create Strong Passwords You Can Actually Remember

Learn how you can create strong passwords that are actually easy to remember! In a short time you can create new ones in seconds.
house with for rent sign posted...
Chase Harrington, president and COO of Entrata

Top 5 Reasons You May Want to Consider Apartment Life Over Owning a Home

There are many benefits of renting that can be overshadowed by the allure of buying a home. Here are five reasons why renting might be right for you.
Festive kitchen in Christmas decorations. Christmas dining room....
Lighting Design

6 Holiday Decor Trends to Try in 2022

We've rounded out the top 6 holiday decor trends for 2022 so you can be ahead of the game before you start shopping. 
Happy diverse college or university students are having fun on their graduation day...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

How to Choose What MBA Program is Right for You: Take this Quiz Before You Apply!

Wondering what MBA program is right for you? Take this quiz before you apply to see if it will help you meet your goals.
How To Protect Utah’s Elderly From Financial Abuse