The Senate Special Committee on Aging released its 2018 Fraud Book at a public hearing this week detailing the Top 10 scams reported to the committee’s Fraud Hotline last year. In 2017, the Committee’s Fraud Hotline (1-855-303-9470) received more than 1,400 complaints of frauds targeting seniors around the country.
Committee Chairman Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) and Ranking Member Senator Bob Casey (D-PA), shared the committee’s efforts to combat scams targeting older Americans at a hearing this week titled, “Stopping Senior Scams.”
According to the Government Accountability Office, financial fraud targeting older Americans is a growing epidemic that costs seniors an estimated $2.9 billion annually. The top complaint, the focus of more than twice as many calls to the hotline as any other scam, involves seniors who receive phone calls from fraudsters posing as agents of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). These criminals falsely accuse seniors of owing back taxes and other penalties that must be paid to avoid prosecution.
Combating senior scams has been a top priority for the committee. Although it does not draft legislation, the Senate Special Committee on Aging can recommend new policies that are referred to other committees for debate and consideration.