Nation’s Oldest Veteran Robbed of Bank Account Savings
America’s oldest living veteran, at 112 years old, is a recent victim of identity theft, with his personal bank account compromised.
Family members of Richard Overton, a veteran of World War II who resides in Austin, Texas, said they discovered on June 29 that someone had stolen his savings.
“Someone set up a bogus account, got his Social Security number, and accessed his personal checking account,” Volma Overton, Richard’s third cousin, told Dallas News.
Richard fell victim to a form of crime that has been increasing in the United States. In 2017, there were a record 16.7 million victims of identity fraud, a 12 percent increase over the previous record the year before, according to the Insurance Information Institute. Last year the amount stolen from these cybercrimes reached $16.8 billion.
Volma said the stolen money was used to buy savings bonds with Treasury Direct, and that it had been occurring over the past few months. The thief has not been identified.
“This is going to be a setback for Richard,” she said. “It was a significant amount of money.”
Fortunately, Richard’s drained bank account was not connected to his GoFundMe page, which finances his 24/7 in-home care. He has outlived all his closest relatives and thus needs constant care. The page was set up to keep Richard living at his home in peace instead of sending him away to a nursing home.
As of writing, the page has hit over $422,000 in donations since it was first created in December 2016. But according to Dallas News, most of that money has already been spent.
Volma fears that once the money runs out and the caregivers are gone, Richard will be left very vulnerable. He and a friend are trying to fix the finance issue. Volma filed a police report on June 29 as well.
Richard celebrated his 112th birthday on May 11.
“The 24/7 home care continues to be the difference in Richard’s life. There is no doubt that Richard would not be with us today, enjoying and celebrating his life if it were not for the giving, caring, sharing and loving concern for all who have given,” a GoFundMe update read.
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