BOSTON (WWLP)– A bipartisan coalition of 47 attorneys general from across the country is supporting the Fraud and Scam Reduction Act (H.R.1215), which expands efforts to address mail, telephone, and internet fraud, and other scams targeting older adults.
Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey joined with other attorneys general in signing a letter sent to U.S. Senate leadership that urges the passing of the bill in an effort to protect senior citizens from fraud.
The act, H.R. 1215, is bipartisan legislation – comprised of the Stop Senior Scam Act and Seniors Fraud Prevention Act of 2021 – that will provide innovative ways to combat the financial exploitation of senior citizens. The legislation will establish the Senior Scams Prevention Advisory Group that is accountable to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and will collect data generated by stakeholders such as retailers, financial services, and wire-transfer companies to help educate employees on how to identify and prevent scams that target seniors. The group will develop training and educational materials for those employees best suited to identify the warning signs of elder fraud.
The act also establishes the Office for the Prevention of Fraud Targeting Seniors—housed in the Bureau of Consumer Protection of the FTC. The office will complement the efforts of the Senior Scams Prevention Advisory Group by:
- Monitoring emerging scams that target seniors through the internet, mail, robocalls, telemarketing and television;
- Disseminating information on common fraud schemes; and
- Sharing information on how to report suspected senior fraud scams to a national fraud hotline and the FTC’s Consumer Sentinel Network.
The FTC will also work with the U.S. Attorney General’s Office to log and track complaints from victims and relay the information to the appropriate law enforcement agencies.
Seniors in Massachusetts who have concerns about fraud and scams should reach out to the AG’s Elder hotline number at (888) AG-ELDER or (888) 243-5337.
AG Healey joined the attorneys general from the following states in signing on to the letter: Florida, New York, Alaska, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Georgia, Guam, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Northern Mariana Islands, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin and Wyoming.