America's Oldest Man Robbed of His Savings

Thieves stole Richard Overton's identity and broke into his bank account
By Janet Cromley,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 30, 2018 1:20 PM CDT
America's Oldest Man Robbed of His Savings
In this March 23, 2017, file photo, Richard Overton leaves the court after a special presentation honoring him as the oldest living American war veteran during a timeout in an NBA basketball game between the Memphis Grizzlies and the San Antonio Spurs.   (AP Photo/Darren Abate, File)

Richard Overton is something of a celebrity in Austin, Texas, because the 112-year-old WWII veteran is the oldest living man in America. He now has a new distinction: the oldest American to be robbed of his savings, reports Newsweek. Family members recently learned that an unidentified thief used Overton's identity to buy savings bonds through the government's TreasuryDirect site over a couple of months. It appears the thief set up a fake bank account with Overton's Social Security number and then broke into his personal checking account. "It's a shock, it hurts, it hurts tremendously," says cousin Volma Overton, who discovered the theft. Volma Overton noticed the withdrawals when he went to deposit funds into the account. "I don't know how they got his Social Security number and his personal checking account number but those things they have," he tells KXAN.

Overton's experience appears to be an all-too-common case of identity theft, where a thief uses someone else's personal information to apply for credit, file taxes, or, in Overton's case, drain an account. Fortunately, Overton's care, which costs $480 a day, is covered by a separate GoFundMe-linked account. Austin police are working closely with the Overton family to try to track down the culprit. "We wanted to put the word out about them using his name with stolen ID," Volma Overton says. "It might help others realize how vulnerable we all are to this.” Overton, whose age has been verified by the Gerontology Research Group, is something of a character, reports the Dallas Morning News. His favorite pastime is sitting on his porch, where he can be seen waving at honking cars and smoking one of his 12 daily cigars. (More WWII veteran stories.)

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