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Source: United States House of Representatives – Congressman Ted Deutch (FL-22)

Today, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Seniors Fraud Prevention Act, legislation introduced by U.S. Representatives Ted Deutch (D-FL), Vern Buchanan (R-FL), and Peter Welch (D-VT) and U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Susan Collins (R-ME) in the Senate.

The Seniors Fraud Prevention Act was incorporated as Title II of Stop Senior Scams Act (H.R. 2610).

One in twenty seniors in the U.S. is a target of fraud schemes, costing them at least $36.5 billion per year. Yet, the National Adult Protective Services Association has found that only 1 in 44 seniors actually report that they are victims of a fraud scheme.

The Seniors Fraud Prevention Act would help protect seniors and their families from becoming the victims of fraudulent schemes designed to steal their assets. The legislation would create an office within the Federal Trade Commission charged with tracking scams, educating and alerting seniors to new scams, and establishing a more effective complaint system to ensure reports of fraud are quickly addressed by the appropriate law enforcement agency.

Congressman Ted Deutch: “Scams targeting seniors are becoming increasingly sophisticated and deceptive. To protect our seniors, many of whom live on fixed incomes and could lose a life’s worth of savings, we need a stronger response in tracking, targeting, and warning against new scams. I hope the Senate will move quickly on this bill that could help seniors protect their assets.”

Congressman Vern Buchanan: “Scams targeting the elderly are growing at a disturbing rate and need to be addressed by Congress. I’m pleased the House has passed our bill and hope it will be signed into law before the end of the year. Passing this bill would be a big step forward to protecting seniors and combating fraud.”

Congressman Peter Welch: “Every day, in Vermont and across this country, vulnerable seniors are being ripped off by scam artists. It’s not uncommon for their victims to lose their life’s savings. I am pleased that the House has passed this important bill and hope that it will soon be signed into law so that the FTC has the resources it needs to alert seniors of fraudulent schemes and help stop these criminals in their tracks.”

Senator Klobuchar: “We must ensure all Americans have safety and dignity in their senior years, especially as we confront the coronavirus pandemic. New schemes designed to defraud seniors appear almost daily. These aren’t simply a nuisance—these scams can wipe out an entire life savings. Passing this bipartisan legislation is a critical step to combat fraud targeting seniors.”

Senator Collins: “As Chairman of the Senate Aging Committee, protecting seniors from fraud and abuse is one of my top priorities. The Seniors Fraud Prevention Act will enhance fraud monitoring, increase consumer education, and strengthen the complaint tracking system.  Raising awareness—particularly among older Americans who are more likely to be targeted—is key to protecting seniors’ hard-earned savings.”