AGs urge support for federal elder fraud prevention legislation
A coalition of 47 state attorneys general is urging congressional leaders to support the Fraud and Scam Reduction Act, a bill aimed at preventing elder fraud.
The legislation, comprised of the Stop Senior Scam Act and Seniors Fraud Prevention Act of 2021, will assist stakeholders in training employees to recognize the warning signs of elder fraud and to prevent irreversible damage to elderly victims.
“It is despicable that individuals prey on older Virginians to make money, but the sad reality is that scammers and fraudsters will try to take advantage of older Virginians, because they think they’re more easily scammed,” said Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring, a member of the bipartisan coalition. “Putting more resources towards preventing fraud and scams aimed at seniors will help protect Virginia’s older population and help them avoid potentially losing money to bad actors. My team and I have made it a priority to ensure that Virginia’s seniors are educated and informed, and having these initiatives at the federal level will help further protect Virginians.”
The act, H.R. 1215, is bipartisan legislation that will provide innovative ways to combat the financial exploitation of senior citizens. The legislation will establish the Senior Scams Prevention Advisory Group that is accountable to the Federal Trade Commission.
The group will collect data generated by stakeholders such as retailers, financial services and wire-transfer companies to help educate employees on how to identify and prevent scams that target seniors. The group will develop training and educational materials for those employees best suited to identify the warning signs of elder fraud.
The act also establishes the Office for the Prevention of Fraud Targeting Seniors — housed in the Bureau of Consumer Protection of the FTC.
The office will complement the efforts of the Senior Scams Prevention Advisory Group by:
- Monitoring emerging scams that target seniors through the internet, mail, robocalls, telemarketing and television;
- Disseminating information on common fraud schemes; and
- Sharing information on how to report suspected senior fraud scams to a national fraud hotline and the FTC’s Consumer Sentinel Network.
The FTC will also work with the U.S. Attorney General’s Office to log and track complaints from victims and relay the information to the appropriate law enforcement agencies.
In March, Herring urged older Virginians to be wary of financial exploitation and highlighted resources for older Virginians to help prevent them from becoming victims of scams and other kinds of financial exploitation. Additionally, Attorney General Herring and his team have worked hard to educate Virginia’s older population through Triad chapters around the Commonwealth.
If you believe you have been a victim of financial fraud or a scam you should contact the Consumer Protection Section to file a complaint or to get additional information about any consumer protection related matter:
- By phone: (800) 552-9963
- By email: email@example.com
- Online Complaint Form
- Online Contact Form