Recently, U.S. Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA), ranking member of the U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging, and Sen. Jerry Moran (R-KS), chairman of the Senate Committee on Commerce Subcommittee on Consumer Protection, introduced the Senior Scams Prevention Act (S. 3522).
“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 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.”
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.
Often times, unbeknownst to employees of retail stores, fraudsters ask senior victims to send “payment” or “gifts” through gift cards, which are purchased at various retail locations.
Scammers may also request money to be sent to them via wire transfer or require the victim to pay by credit card or through other means.
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.
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 (855) 303-9470.