Florida Reps. Ted Deutch (D) and Vern Buchanan (R) introduced the Seniors Fraud Protection Act, a bill that cracks down on scams against older Americans. It was passed today by the U.S. House after being integrated with a larger anti-fraud bill called the Fraud and Scam Reduction Act. The final vote was 396 to 13.
A press release informed that “the bill creates an advisory office within the Federal Trade Commission’s Bureau of Consumer Affairs charged with alerting consumers of new scams.”
“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,” affirmed Buchanan while sharing that he was optimistic about the Senate voting to approve the bill.
Seniors have been greatly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, and the AARP, which endorsed the legislation, “warned that scammers are inventing new and dangerous ways to trick seniors out of thousands of their hard-earned dollars.” This includes “stimulus checks, unemployment, and other government assistance,” which “have been enticing targets for criminals during the pandemic.”
In a statement, Buchanan championed the legislation, calling it “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 the uncertainty surrounding the pandemic and working overtime to target them,” he added, detailing that “scams targeting the elderly threatens more than retirement accounts – they imperil the independence and trust of an already vulnerable community.”