U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar recently announced that her bill to crack down on fraud targeted at seniors passed the Senate Commerce Committee, paving the way for a vote in the full Senate.
Schemes targeting seniors include fraudulent investment plans, fraudulent prizes and sweepstakes, Internet fraud, charity scams, predatory home lenders, telemarketing and mail fraud, accessing assets through undue influence, using fraudulent legal documents, Ponzi schemes and other fraudulent acts.
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.
The bill has been endorsed by the AARP and the Elder Justice Coalition. It 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 (FTC), 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 the process for contacting law enforcement authorities in the event that a senior is targeted in a fraud scheme.