Bipartisan legislation offered last week by U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan (R-FL) would help prevent common scams against America’s senior citizens, such as sweepstakes and charity schemes, deceptive investment plans, and internet fraud.
According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, scams targeting seniors cost more than $3 billion annually.
“Seniors have worked their entire lives with the promise of a safe and secure retirement,” Rep. Buchanan said. “Unfortunately, criminals are taking advantage of uncertainty surrounding the pandemic and working overtime to target them.”
The Seniors Fraud Protection Act, H.R. 982, which Rep. Buchanan cosponsored with bill sponsor U.S. Rep. Ted Deutch (D-FL), would establish an advisory office within the Federal Trade Commission’s Bureau of Consumer Affairs tasked with preventing fraud targeting seniors and alerting consumers to such scams, according to a bill summary provided by Rep. Buchanan’s office.
“Scams targeting the elderly threaten more than retirement accounts – they imperil the independence and trust of an already vulnerable community,” said Rep. Buchanan. “We must do everything we can to safeguard the savings and dignity of Americans as they enter their golden years against those who try to defraud them.”
The bill is supported by AARP. Previously, the measure passed the U.S. House of Representatives as part of a larger anti-fraud bill in November 2020, while a similar bill passed the U.S. Senate in December 2020, according to the congressman’s office.
H.R. 982 has been referred to the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee for consideration.