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Attorney General Josh Stein Urges Congress to Pass the Fraud and Scam Reduction Act

For Immediate Release:
Tuesday, May 25, 2021

Contact:
Laura Brewer (919) 716-6484

(RALEIGH) Attorney General Josh Stein today urged congressional leaders to support the Fraud and Scam Reduction Act. The act, comprised of the Stop Senior Scam Act and Seniors Fraud Prevention Act of 2021, will assist stakeholders in training employees to recognize the warning signs of elder fraud and prevent irreversible damage to elderly victims.

“Last year, in North Carolina, people who were victims of elder fraud filed 1,552 complaints with my office and reported millions in losses,” said Attorney General Josh Stein. “Once people lose their hard-earned money, they may never get it back. We have to do everything we can to stop scammers before they take advantage of some of our most vulnerable North Carolinians. I urge Congress to pass this legislation to help us prevent these scams.”

The act, H.R. 1215, is bipartisan legislation that will create innovative ways to combat the financial exploitation of senior citizens. The legislation will establish the Senior Scams Prevention Advisory Group, which will be accountable to the Federal Trade Commission. The group will collect data generated by groups including retailers, financial services companies, and wire-transfer companies to help educate and train employees on how to identify the warning signs of elder fraud and prevent scams that target seniors.

The act also establishes the Office for the Prevention of Fraud Targeting Seniors, housed in the Bureau of Consumer Protection of the FTC. The office will complement the efforts of the Senior Scams Prevention Advisory Group by:

  • Monitoring emerging scams that target seniors through the internet, mail, robocalls, telemarketing, and television.
  • Disseminating information on common fraud schemes.
  • Sharing information on how to report suspected senior fraud scams to a national fraud hotline and the FTC’s Consumer Sentinel Network.

The FTC will also work with the U.S. Attorney General’s Office to log and track complaints from victims and relay the information to the appropriate law enforcement agencies.

Attorney General Stein is joined in sending this letter by the Attorneys General of Florida, New York, Alaska, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Georgia, Guam, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Dakota, Northern Mariana Islands, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin and Wyoming.

A copy of the letter is available here.

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