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Study: Florida Ranks Most Dangerous State for Seniors

Florida is known for warm weather, sandy beaches, and a large retiree population. Unfortunately, a recent study also finds Florida to be the most dangerous state for seniors to live in. The Sunshine State ranks 51st, behind 49 other states and the District of Columbia.

The study, conducted by TheSeniorList.com, based its rankings upon scores in five different categories. Those categories include:

  • Fraud
  • Housing
  • Poverty
  • Violent Deaths
  • Living Alone

Out of the five categories, violent deaths and fraud are two areas that relate to criminal activity in Florida. When it comes to violent deaths, Florida ranks 39th. According to the study, Florida seniors face violent deaths at a rate of 21.2 for every 100,000 seniors. Florida has a worse rating when it comes to fraud, coming at 50th out of 51. Fraud affects 993 seniors out of every 100,000 in Florida.

Fraud and Florida Seniors

The overall low score was a surprise for Elder Services of Okaloosa County executive director Ruth Lovejoy, although she understood how fraud could be a major factor. According to Lovejoy, there is a steady stream of attempts to defraud Florida seniors. “I do know that one of the things that we caution all the time is telephone solicitations. I can tell you from my standpoint, I get at least 10 calls a night coming to my house,” said Lovejoy.

Ashley Bailey, a crime prevention specialist for the Okaloosa County Sheriff's Office, was not surprised at the high rate of fraud attempts targeting Florida's older population. Bailey pointed to Florida's high senior population relative to other states as a cause, among other factors. “Older adults are targeted for fraud and scams because they have landlines and they are home during the day more, so that makes them more susceptible,” said Bailey.

White Collar Crime in Florida

Fraudulent phone scams are only one type of so-called “white collar” crimes. Other white collar crimes under Florida law include:

  • Embezzlement
  • Passing bad checks
  • Fraud
  • Mail fraud
  • Identity theft
  • Hacking and other internet related crimes
  • Piracy
  • Money laundering

The severity of these crimes can vary greatly. Lesser offenses are charged as misdemeanors that carry no more than a year in jail. More serious charges can be charged as a felony, leading to the potential for years-long prison sentences. These charges can be filed in both Florida state courts as well as federal court. Regardless of the specific charge, the potential repercussions from a conviction can change your life. To defend yourself and protect your rights, it is critical that you obtain legal counsel from an experienced Florida white collar crime attorney.

Finding the Right Tampa White Collar Crime Attorney

Omar Abdelghany is a criminal defense attorney experienced in handling white collar crime cases. Omar gives every client the attention they deserve, given the potential impact a conviction can have on your life. Unlike many attorneys, Omar is known for catering to his clients by promptly responding to their questions and concerns. Contact the OA Law Firm for your free consultation today.

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