Seniors Fraud Prevention Act: Senior Victims Lose $3 Billion Annually

iStock Illustration for Senior Citizen Financial Fraud

Washington, D.C. – Senator Klobuchar introduced the “Seniors Fraud Prevention Act” in June 2015. This legislation would crack down on scams and fraud targeting older Americans.

THERUNDOWN » SENIORFRAUDPREVENTIONACT «

  • Directs the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to establish an office within the Bureau of Consumer Protection to advice the FTC on the prevention of fraud targeting seniors.
  • Requires the FTC to alert seniors and their families, including caregivers on information on the most common fraud schemes.
  • Specifically, this legislation is aimed at battling and preventing financial schemes that target our nation’s seniors, such as sweepstakes and charity scams, as well as fraudulent investment plans and internet fraud.
  • A study by the Metlife Mature Market Institute estimates the financial loss to senior victims to total nearly $3 billion annually.
  • Seniors, those Americans aged 65 and older, number over 43 million and are the fastest growing segment of the population.
  • The U.S. Census Bureau estimates that, by 2030, 20 percent of the U.S. population will be over age 65.

“Despite terrific work done by federal, state and local law enforcement, too many seniors have fallen victim to these scams. But there’s more we can do to protect seniors from scam artists.” Congressman Patrick Meehan (R-PA) told Young Constituents. “Just this week, for example, the House approved H.R. 2669, the Anti-Spoofing Act. The bill aims to prevent scammers from ripping off Americans through the use of fake caller ID schemes. I think consolidating and centralizing fraud hotlines and resources ought to be a topic the new Congress looks at closely in our effort to protect Americans from fraud and abuse.”

The Office for the Prevention of Fraud Targeting Seniors would be established within the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and would have no significant effect on the federal budget. The new office would monitor fraud activity and disseminate information regarding common fraud schemes. Additionally, a new website would be created to make this information more accessible to the public. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that the costs of implanting this legislation would be less than $500,000 annually because the FTC is already taking actions to monitor and disseminate information to prevent fraud that targets seniors. The Commission would also log and acknowledge any complaints by individuals who believe they have been a victim of mail, television, Internet, telemarketing, and robocall fraud in the Consumer Sentinel Network, and would make those complaints immediately available to Federal, State, and local law enforcement authorities.


June 3, 2015 – Bill Proposed 

June 15, 2016 – Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation: Ordered to be reported without amendment favorably. 

November 15, 2016 – Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation: Favors the Bill be passed without amendment. 

November 15, 2016 – Placed on Senate Legislative Calendar under General Orders.