Senior citizens were duped of $1 billion in 2020 through online scams, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Senior citizens also reported more than $100 million in losses from coronavirus-related frauds to the Federal Trade Commission in 2020.
In order to curb these financial scams, the house passed a bill – The Empowering States to Protect Seniors from Bad Actors Act – to protect unsuspecting older Americans from increasingly frequent financial scams by a vote of 371-48
“I am proud that the House just passed my bipartisan bill to help states #ProtectOurSeniors from financial scams. My bill will stop fraudsters from cheating seniors out of their retirement savings,” tweeted Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-N.J.), the bill’s lead sponsor, on Thursday, May 12, after the bill was passed in The House of Representatives.
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The new act would create a program within the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to authorize $10 million each year to investigate and stop all financial frauds in collaboration with state securities regulators.
The bipartisan measure would help state enforcement agencies and task forces protect and educate seniors through the creation of a new Senior Investor Protection Grant Program. In addition, it would also provide additional resources to the enforcement agencies and improve technology, training, and equipment. The money would also be devoted to educating seniors about financial scams.
Gotheimer said records show about 7 million Americans were the victims of financial exploitation last year.