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Casey Bill to Stop Senior Scams Passes Senate

Seniors Lose At Least $3 Billion a Year to Scams

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA), Ranking Member of the Senate Special Committee on Aging, and U.S. Senator Jerry Moran (R-KS), Chairman of the Senate Commerce Subcommittee on Manufacturing, Trade and Consumer Protection, are announcing the Senate passage of the bipartisan Stop Senior Scams Act. This legislation would create a federal advisory group charged with bringing together relevant government officials, industry representatives, advocates and consumer representatives to collect and develop model educational materials for retailers, financial institutions and wire transfer companies to use in stopping scams on seniors.

“Far too often, older Americans are targeted and victimized by scam artists who coerce and threaten legal action against our older loved ones if ‘payment’ is not made immediately, often through a wire transfer or gift card,” said Senator Casey. “And these scammers are always creating new ways, such as recent coronavirus-related schemes, to scare seniors out of even more money. I am pleased that the Senate passed the Stop Senior Scams Act because it brings us one step closer to ensuring that retailers, banks and others have the most up-to-date information available to help prevent seniors from losing one more penny to these unscrupulous actors. I hope the House will take up and pass this legislation quickly.”

As seniors are often targeted by fraudsters who ask them to send ‘payment’ or ‘gifts’ through gift cards, wire transfer, credit card or other means, the advisory group created by the Stop Senior Scams Act would be tasked with providing relevant businesses with information that they can use to help prevent unsuspecting older adults from being scammed.

Additionally, in order to fight specifically against recently developed coronavirus-specific scams, Senator Casey sent a letter to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and a letter to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, concerning coronavirus-related scams and requesting information on each agency’s actions to prevent misinformation about the coronavirus. Senator Casey also sent a letter to the FTC inquiring about the agency’s efforts to protect seniors from coronavirus-related scams.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) maintains a webpage with information on tips to avoid becoming a victim of any of the various coronavirus scams. If you or a loved one receives a suspicious call or email related to the coronavirus, do not engage, and immediately contact the Aging Committee’s toll-free Fraud Hotline at-1-855-303-9470.

Read more from the FTC on coronavirus scams here.
Read the letters to the FTC here and here.
Read the letter to the FDA here.