NASHVILLE - Tennessee banks and other financial service providers in the future will legally be able to alert authorized persons to potential fraud involving elderly Tennesseans and other vulnerable adults under legislation passed today.
The House approved the Elderly and Vulnerable Adult Financial Exploitation Prevention Act on an 89-1 vote, sending the previously passed Senate measure to Gov. Bill Haslam for his consideration.
Rep. Kevin Brooks, R-Cleveland, sponsored the legislation, part of a packet of bills by a group of lawmakers, including Sen. Todd Gardenhire, R-Chattanooga, that are aimed at protecting Tennessee seniors.
Rep. Mark Pody, R-Lebanon, the lone no vote on the bill, said while "I love the intent I believe in personal responsibility."
But Rep. Sami Kumar, R-Springfield, a physician who serves on the Tennessee Commission on Aging and Disability, defended the measure, saying seniors can be vulnerable to deceptive practices.
"This is fraud at such a sophisticated level," said Kumar, noting the crooks will even instruct people they're taking advantage of how to answer questions from bankers or others suspicious when large amounts of money are being withdrawn. "It's very important to stop such deceit."
When unveiling the legislation earlier this year, lawmakers said the elderly sometimes fall prey not just to strangers but family members.