Minority Press

(PA) 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

Today, 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 Manufacturing, Trade, and Consumer Protection introduced the Stop Senior Scams Act 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 and victimized by scam artists who steal more than $3 billion annually from seniors. These criminals coerce and threaten legal action against our elder loved ones if ‘payment’ is not made immediately, often through a wire transfer or gift card,” said Senator Casey. “The Stop Senior Scams Act is a common sense proposal that would help stop a payment before it is made so seniors don’t lose one more penny to a fraud or scam.”

“Our nation’s seniors 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. “This legislation would bring key industry and government leaders together to make certain we are doing all we can to protect seniors. I’m proud to introduce this widely-supported, bipartisan bill with Senator Casey that would provide resources, materials and programs on fraud prevention.”

The bipartisan Stop Senior Scams Act was introduced during an Aging Committee hearing on fighting elder fraud. The bill 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 and stop financial scams at the point of sale. This legislation is endorsed by AARP, Amazon, Best Buy, Consumer Federation of America, Consumers Reports, MoneyGram, National Consumers League, National Retail Federation, Retail Industry Leaders Association, Target, Walmart and Western Union.

Erika Flavin, of Willow Grove, Pennsylvania, testified at the hearing about how a financial institution could have prevented her parents from losing more than $80,000 to a scam artist. Erika stated, “my father spoke to the banker afterwards and the banker admitted that he thought something was going on, but he was not allowed to say anything. I disagree vehemently…While the banker does not have the right to stop my father from taking out his money, banks can be a first line of defense by helping educate anyone about these types of scams.

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.

Read the bill one pager here.