Oldest living Veteran Loses Everything After Identity Thieves Wipe Him Out

A 112-year-old veteran has been left with an empty bank account now after someone got hold of his personal information and robbed him. The family is angry and stunned, and say they have no idea who might have taken the elderly man's money. Thankfully, the family has a separate bank account with money raised to care from the elderly vet in a GoFundMe campaign.

Richard Overton, born in 1906, served in the U.S. Army during World War II. He enlisted and served between 1940 and 1945. Now a supercentaurian (someone who has reached their 110th birthday), he has been verified to be not only one of the oldest people in the world, but the oldest surviving U.S. war veteran.

Someone had no respect for Mr. Overton’s age and accomplishments, however, and stole the elderly man's social security number and bank account number. The thief cleared out the account, and there is nothing left.

Volma Overton Jr., a relative of Richard Overton, said he checked the account on Thursday and was shocked by several purchases of untraceable bonds with Treasury Direct in the last few months.

"I looked at it -- what the hell are these debits?" said Volma.

The entire family is upset. "It's a shock, it hurts, it hurts tremendously," Volma added.

The family has not disclosed the amount that was stolen, but Volma says it was 'considerable'. Sadly, the family has no idea who the identity thief might be, and they may never recover the money. Police are currently investigating.

Mr. Overton got national attention in 2013 when Former President Barack honored the veteran on Memorial Day. Overton first appeared on Fox News for an interview and told them he planned to spend the holiday weekend 'smoking cigars and drinking whiskey-stiffened coffee'.

The appearance caught attention, and before he knew it, the elderly gentleman was offered other plans. He got to meet with Governor Rick Perry of Texas, and was then invited to the White House to meet President Barack Obama. The African-American veteran was touched to be honored by the first African-American president of the United States.

Overton was invited later that year to the Veterans Day ceremony at Arlington National Ceremony, and the San Antonio Spurs honored him at an NBA game at halftime. The service member got a lot of attention, and his family raised $330,000 for his care in his retirement with a GoFundMe campaign that year.

Thankfully, the GoFundMe money was held in another account and is still secure, so Mr. Overton isn’t destitute.

The elderly are particularly vulnerable to identity theft. Many unscrupulous thieves will get their personal information simply by calling and asking for it. They may disguise themselves as the bank, a bill collector, an insurance agent or the IRS. Documents containing the information can also be stolen out of garbage bags or mail boxes.

If elderly people don’t use computers and do not keep track of their accounts and credit score on a regular basis, it can be a while before they realize that their savings or checking account has been cleaned out, or that someone has opened credit accounts using their identity.

AgingCare.com recommends people with elderly loved ones get them a shredder for documents, bring any checks or financial documents being mailed directly to the post office, and to instruct the elderly person to never give out any personal information over the phone.

Source: CNN
Photos: Luiz Cent/Flickr, Obama White House,

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