WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Steven Daines (R-MT) announced that their bipartisan legislation to combat fraud and scams in the travel and tourism industry passed the Commerce Committee. The Protecting Consumers from Travel Fraud Act would direct the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to report to Congress on scams targeting travelers during the coronavirus pandemic. It would also require the FTC to update its website with information to help consumers identify and avoid emerging travel scams and provide policy recommendations for preventing and deterring online travel booking scams.
“As the pandemic comes to an end and people make plans to travel safely once again, we need to ensure consumers are protected from unfair and deceptive practices targeted at travelers,” said Klobuchar. “With bipartisan support, our bill to prevent fraudulent behavior in the travel and tourism industry moved out of committee and onto the floor. I look forward to this bill passing the Senate and becoming law.”
“I’m glad to see our bipartisan bill to help protect Montanans and all Americans from predatory travel scams pass the U.S. Senate Commerce Committee. As our travel economy and jobs begin to spring back we must ensure that we are preventing and cracking down on predatory travel scams. Now it’s time for the full U.S. Senate to pass our bipartisan bill to protect consumers,” said Daines.
This legislation was developed in response to recent reports of incidents involving scammers posing as travel or booking agents and creating fraudulent airline websites to sell fake hotel bookings and airline tickets. In a letter last month, Klobuchar and Daines asked the FTC to provide information on actions it has taken to protect and help consumers and how it plans to prevent future scams and fraudulent behavior.
As a member of the Senate Commerce Committee, Klobuchar has been a leader in the fight to protect consumers from fraud and scams.
In March, Klobuchar and Senator Jerry Moran (R-KS) led a bipartisan letter with 32 colleagues urging FTC Chairman Joseph Simons to protect seniors from coronavirus-related scams, better inform consumers about scams, and assist victims in understanding their recourse options to ensure that seniors are protected from those attempting to financially exploit them during the pandemic. This follows the introduction of their legislation on the same topic, the Protecting Seniors from Emergency Scams Act.
In February, Klobuchar and Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) introduced legislation to crack down on fraud targeted at seniors. The Seniors Fraud Prevention Act would help fight scams designed to strip seniors of their assets by directing the FTC to establish a task force dedicated to combating fraud against seniors, helping educate seniors about fraud schemes and improve monitoring and response to fraud complaints.
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