Florida Congressmen Bring Back Seniors Fraud Protection Act

This week, two Florida congressmen brought back their proposal battling fraud against seniors.

Back in 2013, U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan, R-Fla., teamed up with U.S. Rep. Ted Deutch, D-Fla., to introduce the “Seniors Fraud Prevention Act” which increases the role of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) in monitoring and offering response systems for when seniors are damaged by fraud. They’ve been pushing the bill since then and brought it back in April 2019 with U.S. Rep. Peter Welch, D-Vt., also behind it.

The House passed the bill back in November when Deutch was able to roll his bill into U.S. Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester, D-Del., “Stop Senior Scams Act” which passed the House on a voice vote but it did not clear the U.S. Senate. U.S. Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, and U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., have been the Senate champions of the bill, a role they continued the past two years.

Deutch reintroduced the bill this week.

“Seniors are often the biggest targets for scams trying to confuse and cheat them to give up money and personal information. We need a stronger federal effort to track, target, and warn against these fraudulent schemes. This bill will strengthen important consumer protections to help seniors protect their assets,” Deutch said.

“Seniors have worked their entire lives with the promise of a safe and secure retirement,” Buchanan said. “Unfortunately, criminals are taking advantage of the uncertainty surrounding the pandemic and working overtime to target them. Scams targeting the elderly threaten more than retirement accounts – they imperil the independence and trust of an already vulnerable community. We must do everything we can to safeguard the savings and dignity of Americans as they enter their golden years against those who try to defraud them.”

Estimates show that fraud against senior citizens can cost more than $40 billion a year.

Deutch’s bill was sent to the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee. So far, there is no companion measure over in the Senate.

 

Reach Kevin Derby at kevin.derby@floridadaily.com.

 

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