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Bipartisan Bill Cosponsored by Senators Shaheen & Hassan to Protect Seniors from Fraud Passes Senate

WASHINGTON -- The U.S. Senate unanimously passed bipartisan legislation cosponsored by U.S. Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Maggie Hassan (D-NH) to protect seniors from fraud. The Seniors Fraud Prevention Act will help fight scams designed to rob seniors of their assets by directing the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to create an office to educate seniors about fraud schemes and improve the agency's monitoring and response to fraud complaints. The legislation is led in the Senate by Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Susan Collins (R-ME).

“Protecting seniors from scams has been a critical issue that predates COVID, but as Americans are particularly vulnerable today due to the hardships of the economic crisis, we need to double down on this priority,” said Senator Shaheen. “The Seniors Fraud Prevention Act would help seniors learn how to identify schemes so they’re not susceptible to scammers’ deceptive tactics, and would bolster efforts to monitor and respond to cases of fraud. I’m encouraged by the overwhelming bipartisan support for this bill and look forward to seeing it advance in Congress.”

"As scammers seek to take advantage of seniors amid the COVID-19 pandemic, it is more important than ever that we help protect seniors from fraudulent schemes," said Senator Hassan. "This bipartisan bill takes critical steps forward in safeguarding seniors' finances by requiring the Federal Trade Commission to further crack down on scammers and educate seniors and their families about scam risks."

The Seniors Fraud Prevention Act will help protect seniors from fraud schemes by creating an office at the Federal Trade Commission with the mission of helping fight scams designed to strip seniors of their assets by educating seniors about fraud schemes and improving the Commission’s monitoring and response to fraud complaints. The bill will also require the FTC, the agency responsible for handling consumer complaints, to coordinate with other agencies to monitor for fraud schemes targeting seniors. In addition, the bill would require the FTC to distribute information — to seniors, their families, and their caregivers – that explains how to recognize fraud schemes and how to contact law enforcement authorities in the event that a senior is targeted for fraud.

Senators Shaheen and Hassan have worked across the aisle to target fraud. Last year, legislation cosponsored by Senators Shaheen and Hassan to crack down on robocalls became law. The legislation improves the federal government’s ability to find scammers, increases penalties on those caught and requires call authentication and blocking technology to be made available free of charge to consumers. The Senate also passed bipartisan legislation introduced by Senator Hassan to aid victims of identity theft by requiring the Social Security Administration (SSA) to provide a single point of contact to help Americans who are victims of identity theft.