Attorney General Ashley Moody and a coalition of 47 attorneys general are encouraging congressional leaders to pass the Fraud and Scam Reduction Acts.
If passed, the Acts — the Stop Senior Scam Act and the Seniors Fraud Prevention Act — would further train employees to detect elder fraud and protect seniors from swindlers.
“Florida is home to more than 5 million seniors and they deserve to enjoy their golden years free of worry from scammers trying to target them,” Moody said. “That is why I am urging our congressional leaders to pass this important legislation.”
Under the Stop Senior Scam Act, a Senior Scams Prevention Advisory Group would be created to collect data about elder fraud and develop educational materials for those who work with the elderly. The group would be accountable to the Federal Trade Commission.
Under the Seniors Fraud Prevention Act, an Office for the Prevention of Fraud Targeting Seniors would be created under the Bureau of Consumer Protection within the Federal Trade Commission.
The office would be tasked with monitoring emerging scams, sharing information about the scams and working with the U.S. Attorney General’s Office.
In a letter sent to congressional leaders by the National Association of Attorneys General, the coalition notes that seniors will soon make up roughly 20% of the population.
Moreover, elder fraud is on the rise.
According to the FBI, scams against the elderly have quadrupled between 2013 and 2017, costing nearly $3 billion in losses a year.
Notably, the issue is particularly relevant in Florida, a renown destination for seniors and the retired.
“Senior citizens in our communities have worked hard to raise families, to contribute to our economy, and to establish a secure retirement,” the letter said. “Many of them are veterans of our U.S. Armed Forces.”
Other states supporting the Acts include California, New York and Georgia.
The letter is available online.