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AG Nessel Urges Michiganders to Watch for Exploitation Attempts as Stimulus Payments are Disbursed

LANSING – As stimulus payments continue to roll in for the Michiganders who qualify, Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel is reminding everyone to remain on high alert – especially for individuals looking to exploit vulnerable adults as we work to slow the spread of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).  

“With the widespread knowledge that these relief payments are being disbursed, many who care for or have access to a vulnerable adult may see this as an opportunity to misuse those funds,” said Nessel. “At a time when it’s much more difficult to check on our loved ones in person, we must remain diligent and resourceful.”  

Loved ones should stay consistent in their communication with the family member and their caregivers, demand an updated care plan to ensure the necessary precautions are being taken, and report any suspected instances of abuse, neglect or exploitation.  

Banks should also pay close attention to inconsistencies in transactions from the accounts of vulnerable adults.  

Notify the Michigan Department of Health & Human Services (MDHHS) Adult Protective Services at 855-444-3911, if you suspect elder or vulnerable adult abuse, neglect, or exploitation occurred in: 

  • A private residence, 
  • An unlicensed setting such as an assisted living facility, 
  • An adult foster care home, 
  • A home for the aged, or 
  • A nursing home where the suspected perpetrator is not an employee of the facility or the resident is on leave from the nursing home. 

If you suspect abuse, neglect, or exploitation of a resident of a nursing home by another resident or by a nursing home employee, you can notify the following agencies: 

  • Attorney General Health Care Fraud Hotline: 800-24-ABUSE (800-242-2873) 
  • Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) Bureau of Community and Health Systems Abuse Hotline: 800-882-6006 
  • Michigan Protection and Advocacy Service, Inc.:
    • Developmental Disabilities: 800-288-5923
    • Mental Illness: 800-288-5923 

For more information, visit the Elder Abuse Task Force webpage.