As the weather warms so do the chances of your neighborhood being targeted by unscrupulous solicitors; people who pull out all the stops to make a quick sale. Sometimes they use scare tactics.
Unfortunately, seniors are most often targeted. The Protecting Alabama's Elders Act strengthens protection for people sixty and older from both financial exploitation and physical abuse.
Attorney General Luther Strange says the bill gives him the tools he needs to go after those who try to take advantage of seniors. Strange teamed up with the Alabama Electronic Security's Board of Licensure to warn seniors about financial fraud.
AES spokesperson Lynn Taunton says one problem has been on their radar for years.
"Over the past couple of summers there have been numerous complaints filed with the electronic security board regarding alarm companies using unethical sales tactics in order to make sales in Alabama," said Taunton.
"They are our most vulnerable group when it comes to consumer fraud," said Strange.
With the Protecting Alabama's Elders Act the penalties for financial fraud and exploitation range from a class A misdemeanor, to a class B felony. Strange says the bill ultimately helps his office bring criminals to justice.
"Anything that gives us tools, stronger tools to help us dealt with criminals who prey on consumers is good. So we're very pleased. The more tools, the stiffer the penalties, the boarder the area fraud laws cover," he said.
Strange encourages people to call the Better Business Bureau, as well as the Attorney General's office to report instances of fraud. They need a series of complaints against a company in order to for that company to be prosecuted criminally.
Senator Cam Ward, who was a sponsor of the bill, says the bill, as well as Strange's efforts go hand in hand. He says the state needs to use all the resources it has to go after people to take advantage of the elderly.