Bill, cosponsored by Higgins, coordinates government & industry efforts to help stop payments before seniors fall victim to fraud
The House of Representatives has approved H.R. 2610, the Fraud and Scam Reduction Act, bipartisan legislation cosponsored by Congressman Brian Higgins, D-NY-26.
The bill creates a federal advisory council at the Federal Trade Commission that brings together government agencies, consumer advocates and industry representatives to develop materials and protocols for retail outlets and financial institutions to help prevent fraudulent wire transfers, gift card scams and other deceptive tactics targeting seniors before they are made.
Higgins said, “Often there is little that can be done to recover funds lost after scams are carried out. This strategy seeks raise awareness and bring in private institutions as partners in spotting the warning signs and preventing these difficult to trace crimes from happening to seniors at the outset.”
According to a report issued by the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation on similar legislation (S. 149) introduced in the Senate, “statistics measuring the financial cost of fraud targeting seniors ranges from $2.9 billion to $12.46 billion.” The approximately 43 million seniors in the U.S. are increasingly being targeted by scammers with requests for payments by gift cards and are less likely to report fraud because they are embarrassed to have fallen victim to a scam.
The legislation is supported by the AARP, National Consumers League, Consumer Federation of American, the National Retail Federation and others. The Senate version of the bill passed in the Senate under unanimous consent in June.