Joint Press

Hearing to Press Prepaid Debit Card Companies and Retailers on Efforts to Curb Phone Scams

WASHINGTON- The U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging will hold a hearing on Wednesday to examine what prepaid debit card companies and retail stores are doing to help prevent consumers—particularly seniors—from falling victim to phone scams.   The hearing is the third in a series of investigations the panel has undertaken on phone scams affecting the elderly.

The committee will hear from the nation’s three largest prepaid debit card companies, which include Green Dot, InComm and Blackhawk Network, Inc., along with the trade association that represents retailers such as Walmart, Kmart and CVS.   Lawmakers want to know what steps are being taken to help curb prepaid debit card use by scam artists.  The panel will also press retailers on whether they’re doing enough to train employees to identify and warn potential phone scam victims.

Last year, the committee held the first in the series of hearings into phone scams by spotlighting Jamaican lottery schemes, which the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) estimated resulted in over $300 million in losses for victims in 2011.  In July, the panel examined the rise of grandparent scams in which a fraudster takes on the role of a grandchild or law enforcement officer to trick seniors into sending money to get their grandchildren out of jail.  In both incidences, scammers routinely instructed seniors to send them money via reloadable prepaid debit cards.


HEARING: Private Industry’s Role in Stemming the Tide of Phone Scams

2:15 p.m. EDT,  Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Dirksen Senate Office Building, Room 562



Steven W. Streit, Chief Executive Officer, Green Dot Corporation

 Skeet Rolling, Chief Operating Officer, InComm. 

William Y. Tauscher, Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board, Blackhawk Network, Inc. 

Lisa LaBruno, Vice President of Retail Operations, Retail Industry Leaders Association