Congress Moves to Protect Seniors From Financial Scams

Online scams have been growing in recent years. With the ever-present role that technology plays in the lives of everyone, fraudsters and criminals sense opportunity.

Unfortunately, scammers use the internet to target people who they view as vulnerable or unknowing. Criminals see this as the best way to get what they want with few complications standing in their way.

As it turns out, there’s been a rise in scams targeting seniors, especially financial scams. However, this may be changing in the future and in the years to come.

This week, the House of Representatives passed legislation that’s designed to shield older people from being conned, according to The Hill.

A Critical Safeguard For America’s Senior Citizens

On Wednesday, the Empowering States to Protect Seniors from Bad Actors Act passed in the House of Representatives.

Put simply, this legislation is designed to boost the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) with funding to help probe and prevent scams notoriously directed toward senior citizens.

The funding would amount to $10 million per year and go hand in hand with collaborative work with regulators of state securities.

This House bill holds bipartisan support from US House members and also comes at a critical moment. In 2020 alone, America’s senior population reported collective losses of $100 million, just from COVID scams alone.

On top of this, the Senate Special Committee on Aging estimates that senior citizens lose an annual $3 billion to financial cons online.

The Empowering States to Protect Seniors from Bad Actors Act, if it passes through Congress and becomes law, will protect a lot of older people. The bill will also show scammers that it isn’t open season for them to do whatever they please.

Warning Signs of Financial Scams

As Congress works to prevent senior citizens from falling victim to online scams, there are definitely some warning signs that everyone should be aware of.

For starters, scammers are known to claim they’re having some great emergency that requires money to be sent to them.

In other cases, these criminals say that in order for someone to win a prize, they need to purchase pre-paid debit cards or hand over personal information.

Some financial fraudsters even go as far as sending out unsolicited checks, texts, or asking for people to verify sensitive information.

Nine times out of ten, if something appears too good to be true, then it most likely is. Having awareness of these warning signs, along with legislation that protects seniors from scams, will undoubtedly crack down on the number of victims.

What do you think of Congress taking action to prevent scammers from successfully going after senior citizens? In the comments area below, let us know if you think this bill will make a positive difference.