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Balderson and Bipartisan, Bicameral Group of Lawmakers Introduce Bill to Protect Seniors from Scam Artists Preying on COVID Fears

WASHINGTON – Congressman Troy Balderson (R-OH) joined Congresswoman Robin Kelly (D-IL) in introducing the Protecting Seniors From Emergency Scams Act (H.R. 446), legislation that directs the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to report to Congress on the number and types of scams targeting seniors during the COVID-19 pandemic and make recommendations for how to prevent scams targeting seniors during the pandemic and future emergencies. Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Jerry Moran (R-KS) introduced companion legislation in the U.S. Senate last week.

“Throughout the pandemic, uncertainty has led to many Ohioans falling victim to scam callers – especially vulnerable populations like seniors,” said Balderson. “We have a responsibility to stop bad actors like these scam artists in their tracks, and that starts with empowering the American people with information about known scam calls.”

“Our senior citizens have borne the brunt of this pandemic. Now, scammers are shamelessly targeting older Americans and preying on their COVID-19 fears,” said Kelly. “We have a moral obligation to stop these con artists by empowering seniors with facts and information while aggressively targeting criminals with all the resources available through the Federal Trade Commission.”

The Protecting Seniors From Emergency Scams Act also directs FTC to update its web portal with information about scams targeting seniors, to allow consumers to search for scams by region and access contact information for law enforcement and adult protective service agencies. It also directs FTC to work with media outlets and law enforcement agencies to distribute this information to seniors and their caregivers.

FTC currently partners with several groups to share information about scams targeting seniors, including AARP, the Better Business Bureau, state Attorneys General offices, the U.S. Department of Justice, congressional offices, and the National Association of Consumer Advocates.

The legislation is endorsed by AARP, Elder Justice Coalition, American Society on Aging and National Adult Protective Services Association.

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