Casey, Moran Introduce Bill to Help Prevent Seniors From Losing Money to Scams
Bipartisan Bill Would Train Retailers, Financial Institutions to Spot and Stop Fraudulent Transactions at the Point of Sale
Recently, U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA), Ranking Member of the U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging, and Senator Jerry Moran (R-KS), Chairman of the Senate Committee on Commerce Subcommittee on Consumer Protection introduced the Senior Scams Prevention Act (S. 3522) to ensure retailers, financial institutions and wire transfer companies have the resources to train employees to help stop financial frauds and scams on seniors.
"Far too many older Americans have been targeted by scam artists. These criminals threaten legal action against seniors or loved ones if ‘payment’ is not made immediately through a wire transfer or gift card,” said Senator Casey. “The Senior Scams Prevention Act would help stop a payment before it is ever made so that seniors don’t lose one more penny to a fraud or scam.”
“Senior citizens are among the most vulnerable consumers in this digital age – mistakenly falling victim to scammers that steal their money, identity and dignity,” said Sen. Moran. “Now more than ever, it is imperative we bring industry leaders together to examine ways and propose actions American businesses can take to help educate the public, specifically senior citizens, on how to identify and avoid these harmful scams.”
The bipartisan Senior Scams Prevention Act would create a federal advisory council to develop educational materials for retailers, financial institutions and wire transfer companies to use to train employees on how to spot a scam. This legislation is endorsed by Consumers Union, Best Buy, Consumer Federation of America, Green Dot Corp., MoneyGram, National Consumers League, National Retail Federation, Retail Industry Leaders Association, Target, Walmart, and Western Union.
During a recent Aging Committee hearing, Mary Bach, Westmoreland County resident and volunteer chair of AARP Pennsylvania’s Consumer Issues Task Force, testified on how businesses can help prevent scams from taking place. On the Senior Scams Prevention Act, Mary Bach commented, “As a long-time consumer advocate, I believe that education is the key in preventing victimization. If you can spot a scam, you can stop a scam! When individuals have the knowledge and skills to help thwart wrong-doing, we are all better off, and the proposed program would enhance that ability.”
If you or a loved one receives a suspicious call, hang up the phone immediately and contact the Aging Committee’s toll-free Fraud Hotline at 1-855-303-9470.