The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO


January 2, 2013

Other Views: Help the elderly

Stunning. Sickening. Frightening. A 100-year-old woman who lives in our community needed to have some window screens repaired. It is now alleged two men duped her out of her life savings, more than $350,000.

The recent News-Press account of this case stops short of rendering judgment. However, it does provide details from a criminal complaint that speak to a confused senior citizen who simply needed work done at her home.

Two details stand out. Altogether, the homeowner wrote at least 50 checks to two men who allegedly told the woman that beyond repairing torn screens, she needed to have the foundation of the residence fixed. And one of the suspects has five prior felony convictions.

Are we stunned to hear this allegation that something so reprehensible could occur in our community?

How could this elderly woman be subjected to months of alleged fraudulent behavior without anyone detecting something was wrong?

Could this just as easily happen to someone we care about? To us, if we’re not careful?

There are plenty of good tips for avoiding getting scammed: Always get proposals in writing. Get multiple bids. Require names of references, and check them. Take your time deciding, and ask someone you trust to help. Avoid paying for work until it is done.

All of this is helpful, it seems, but we think now of those who might have made a difference for our 100-year-old victim. Friends, family, social agency workers — we presume there are many who are wishing today they had seen something and stepped in earlier.

This is assistance we all hope will be there for us in our time of need. But hoping alone cannot make it so. This episode reminds of how important it is to share our lives with others we trust and who have our best interests at heart.

Text Only
Local News
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter

A state lawmaker who is one of two doctors in the Oklahoma Legislature is insisting that unaccompanied immigrant minors being housed at Fort Sill be quarantined. Do you think those kinds of measures should be taken?

A. Yes.
B. No.
     View Results
NDN Video
Robot Parking Valet Creates Stress-free Travel Raw: MH17 Bodies Arrive in Netherlands Raw: Fight Breaks Out in Ukraine Parliament Disabled Veterans Memorial Nearing Completion Last Mass Lynching in U.S. Remains Unsolved Home-sharing Programs Help Seniors Ex-NYC Mayor: US Should Allow Flights to Israel Clinton: "AIDS-Free Generation Within Our Reach" Judge Ponders Overturning Colo. Gay Marriage Ban Airlines Halt Travel to Israel Amid Violence VA Nominee McDonald Goes Before Congress US Official: Most Migrant Children to Be Removed Police Probing Brooklyn Bridge Flag Switch CDC Head Concerned About a Post-antibiotic Era Courts Conflicted Over Healthcare Law Raw: Truck, Train Crash Leads to Fireball