JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Two certified nursing assistants were suspended from practice after being accused of defrauding the elderly people they were supposed to be caring for.
Bianca Elbert and Kayla Hubbard are being investigated by the Florida Department of Health and the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office, according to police and state reports. Both women were at-home caregivers for senior citizens.
A police report said Hubbard stole $222 to pay her JEA bill by swiping her patient's checkbook information.
Meanwhile, Elbert used a change of address form to assist in taking the identity of a woman in an assisted living facility, according to the Department of Health.
In a November suspension order released to First Coast News, the Department of Health details how Elbert opened a credit card using her patient's personal information. Elbert then attempted to conceal the new account by submitting a post office change of address form for the patient's power of attorney, a law firm in Ponte Vedra. According to the suspension order, the post office diverted the law firm's mail, including financial documents for the patient, to Elbert's grandmother's house.
Both nursing assistants' state licenses were suspended by the Department of Health. Hubbard faces criminal charges of defrauding a financial institution. Elbert hasn’t been charged at this time.
CEO of Identity Theft Countermeasures Group Tyler Wildman said change of address schemes are on the rise because people pay less attention to their mailbox.
Before completing a change of address request, USPS will send a notification to the homeowner through the mail before making any changes.
Wildman recommends keeping the personal documents of an elderly person in a room that remains locked when other people may be in the home.
"This includes housekeeping, pest control, or in-home care providers," Wildman said. "There's software that will alert you if any change of addresses or change of billing addresses pop up on your account."
In addition, Wildman suggests asking assisted living and nursing home facilities about their background checks and vetting process for employees and third party service providers.