Legislation designed to mitigate senior fraud garners House approval

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Reps. Vern Buchanan (R-FL) and Ted Deutch (D-FL) are commending the House of Representatives’ passage of a measure designed to protect seniors from fraudulent scams.

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The Seniors Fraud Protection Act was rolled into a larger anti-fraud bill – the Fraud and Scam Reduction Act (HR 1215) and approved 396 to 13. The bill would help prevent common senior scams, such as sweepstakes and charity cons, in addition to fraudulent investment plans and internet fraud.

“We must do everything we can to protect the savings and dignity of older Americans from the scam artists and con men who try to defraud them,” Buchanan said. “This is an important safeguard for seniors who have worked their entire lives with the promise of a safe and secure retirement. Unfortunately, criminals are taking advantage of uncertainty surrounding the pandemic and working overtime to target them.”

Buchanan said scams targeting the elderly threaten also imperil the independence and trust of an already vulnerable community, with authorities adding the legislation creates an advisory office within the Federal Trade Commission’s Bureau of Consumer Affairs responsible for alerting consumers of new scams.

“Seniors are often the biggest targets for scams trying to confuse and cheat them to give up money and personal information,” Deutch said. “We need a stronger federal effort to track, target, and warn against these fraudulent schemes. This bill will strengthen important consumer protections to help seniors protect their assets.”

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