Millions of seniors across the country are victims of financial scams each year, with scams related to COVID-19 alone costing consumers more than $460 billion dollars

In New York State, seniors are estimated to lose as much as $1.5 billion to financial fraud.

New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand and Senator Susan Collins of Maine are reintroducing a bi-partisan bill to help ensure seniors and their caregivers have critical information regarding financial abuse.

The bill would standardize and improve the way senior financial abuse is reported, establish a national hotline that would advise seniors on where and how to report fraud, and provide more resources to combat and prevent financial exploitation of seniors.

The Senior Financial Empowerment Act would:help protect seniors from financial fraud by doing the following:

 •   Centralizing services for consumer education and data on scams and fraud targeting seniors;

 •   Improving reporting of suspected instances of elder financial abuse;

 •   Educating certain entities regarding elder financial abuse;

 •   Creating a grant program to prevent mail, telemarketing, and internet fraud;

 •   Directing the National Institutes of Health to conduct scientific research on older adults’ increased vulnerability to scams; and

 •   Designating a National Senior Fraud Awareness Week.

“Giving seniors the tools they need to stay vigilant against financial fraud is the best way to protect their pocketbooks, and to put these fraudsters out of business. I am proud to work with Senator Collins on the Senior Financial Empowerment Act, so that seniors and their caregivers can respond to, report, and prevent costly financial scams and abuse plaguing our senior communities,” said Senator Gillibrand.

The legislation is endorsed by AARP and LeadingEdge

You can read the text of the bill here.

Gillibrand is a member of the Special Committee on Aging.

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