WASHINGTON-U.S. Sens. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., and Susan Collins, R-Maine, Tuesday introduced bipartisan legislation to crack down on fraud targeted at seniors.
Schemes targeting seniors include fraudulent investment plans, prizes, and sweepstakes, internet fraud, charity scams, predatory home lenders, telemarketing and mail fraud, accessing assets through undue influence, using fraudulent legal documents, and Ponzi schemes. The bipartisan Seniors Fraud Prevention Act would help fight scams designed to strip seniors of their assets by helping educate seniors about fraud schemes and improving monitoring and response to fraud complaints, a news release said.
"Too often seniors can have their entire life savings snatched up in scams specifically designed to target their assets," Klobuchar said. "We must do more to protect seniors' hard-earned life savings from fraud schemes and this important bipartisan bill will provide seniors and their families the tools they need to avoid scams before they happen."
The bill would help protect seniors from fraud schemes by strengthening the complaint system to ensure complaints of fraud are handled quickly by the appropriate law enforcement agencies. The bill would also require the Federal Trade Commission, the agency responsible for handling consumer complaints, to coordinate with other agencies to monitor the market for fraud schemes targeting seniors. In addition, the bill would require the FTC to distribute information materials to seniors, their families, and their caregivers that explain how to recognize fraud schemes and how to contact law enforcement authorities in the event that a senior is targeted. Klobuchar and Collins have introduced the bill in the two previous Congresses. In 2016, the legislation passed the Senate Commerce Committee without opposition.