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Helping People Age with Dignity

Legislation introduced regarding fraud against the elderly

There are certain things that can vastly alter how a person’s retirement years go. One is if an elderly individual ends up being the victim of a fraud scam. Frauds targeting seniors can take a wide range of forms. Sometimes, such frauds are perpetrated by strangers, while other times they are done by a person an elderly individual is close to.

Such scams can considerably deplete a senior’s assets. When a person is in their retirement years, such depletions can have all kinds of negative impacts on them, such as effects on what kind of standard of living they can afford and what kind of care they are able to have access to.

There are measures seniors can take to try to protect themselves from this impactful predatory conduct. For example, there are various estate planning devices, such as trusts and power of attorney documents, which can be directed towards goals like protecting a person’s assets against things such as fraud attempts. As this underscores, what a senior does when it comes to estate planning can have impacts on a wide variety of fronts.

Now, what sorts of steps individual seniors take at protecting themselves against fraud is not the only thing that can have significant effects in the battle against fraud targeting the elderly. Another thing is what actions the federal government takes in response to this impactful problem.

Recently, legislation was introduced to Congress which is aimed at helping combat fraud against the elderly. This bill is the Seniors Fraud Prevention Act. Among the things this bill’s provisions touch on are:

  • Fraud monitoring: It would put some new requirements regarding monitoring the market for senior-focused fraud scams on the Federal Trade Commission.
  • Complaint response: It would make changes to the elder fraud complaint system. The changes are aimed at strengthening the system and ensuring prompt response to complaints.
  • Education: It would create some new requirements for the Federal Trade Commission regarding efforts aimed at educating the elderly and caregivers on elder fraud issues.

This is the third consecutive Congress that this bill has been brought before. One wonders what will end up happening with this bill in the current Congress.

What would you like to see the federal government do in the fight against senior fraud?

Source: Brainerd Dispatch, “Klobuchar introduces bill to combat fraud against seniors,” Jan. 10, 2017

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