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Sen. Moran urges FTC to protect seniors from scams

(WIBW)
Published: Dec. 23, 2020 at 5:51 PM CST
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WASHINGTON, D.C. (WIBW) - Senator Jerry Moran and Senator Klobuchar are urging the Federal Trade Commission to protect seniors from scams.

Senator Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) says he and Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) have called on the Federal Trade Commission to protect seniors from holiday shopping scams. He said in response to a recent report of increased holiday scams targeting seniors, including scams to solicit donations for fake charities and scams falsely offering the COVID-19 vaccine to seniors eager to spend the holidays with family, the pair sent a letter that urges the FTC to commit to taking action to better educate and help seniors in recognizing holiday scams. He said the letter also urges the FTC to help seniors understand the options they have for recourse should they fall victim to such scams.

“Recent reports have highlighted a 14 percent increase in holiday shopping scams, including holiday scams targeting seniors—arguably the population most vulnerable to both the coronavirus and bad actors,” the senators wrote. “These scams range from charity scams soliciting holiday donations for fake charities to phone calls falsely offering immediate vaccinations to protect against COVID-19 infection.”

“Other reports have highlighted a 440 percent increase from October to November in the volume of shipping-related scam messages—fake emails and texts about delivery and tracking information sent by scammers to consumers in order to retrieve their financial account information,” said the senators. “Given the seriousness of this issue, we urge the FTC to take action to better protect seniors and ensure they understand their recourse options should they fall victim to these scams.”

According to Moran, in July he and Klobuchar sent a letter that urged the FTC to protect seniors from contact tracing scams after reports that scammers were imitating contact tracers in an attempt to financially exploit consumers and steal their personal information like Social Security numbers and credit card numbers. He said the letter also urged the FTC to commit to taking action to better educate and help seniors recognize legitimate contact tracing and understanding their options for recourse should they fall victim.

Moran said in May, the pair introduced legislation to protect seniors from scams during the COVID-19 pandemic, which passed the Senate Commerce Committee the week of Dec. 21. He said the Protecting Seniors from Emergency Scams Act directs the FTC to report to Congress on scams that target seniors during the pandemic and make recommendations on how to prevent future scams during emergencies.

The full letter can be found here.

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