Its a growing problem in Ohio and nationwide, cyber fraud targeted at the elderly and disabled. Now the Ohio House Has overwhelmingly approved a bill that increases the penalties for those convicted of such crimes.
State Representative Lynn Slaby of Akron gives an example of one cyber fraud scam targeting the elderly.
"One of them that seems to have been catching on are calls to elderly persons like grandparents, that are supposedly coming from grandchildren who want money to be mailed overseas because the grandchild indicates that they are in difficulty and don't want to tell their parents. The grandparents will send the money overseas in order to help their grandchildren, but its fraudulent and there is no grandchild overseas."
Slaby says Senate Bill 223 also includes stiffer penalties for scams committed over the phone.
In the House Criminal Justice Committee, Slaby, who is committee chairman, amended the bill to eliminate a requirement that an offender must know that the victim is an elderly or disabled person, for the offender to be guilty of telecommunications fraud against an elderly or disabled adult.
The measure now goes back to the Senate for the amendment change and is expected to be approved and sent on to Governor Kasich.