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Victims of fraud are increasing on a daily basis. Everyone is a target, but some people are more at risk than others. Elderly people, lonely people, and immigrants are often targets of fraudulent activity. Scams to get credit card and other financial information include email scams for moving large amounts of money, phone calls asking for financial information because a loved one is in trouble, and online matchmaking gone horribly wrong.
People have lost their livelihoods by falling victim to these scams and schemes. The United States Senate wants to put a stop to them and wants to help victims of fraud, especially elderly victims. A new anti-fraud hotline has been unveiled to make it easier for senior citizens to report suspected fraud and to receive assistance.
“If you or someone you know suspect you’ve been a victim of a scam or fraud aimed at seniors, the U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging, of which U.S. Sen. Susan Collins in the ranking member, has set up a new toll-free hotline to help,” read a news release issued about the anti-fraud hotline.
The hotline will be staffed from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays by experienced investigators. The investigators plan to help by examining complaints and then referring them to the proper authorities, if necessary. Some of the items the investigators have experience with include investment scams, bogus sweepstakes, Medicare and Social Security fraud, identity theft, and lottery schemes.
Consumer protection and fraud prevention is one of the primary focuses of the Senate Special Committee on Aging. The panel held hearings on tax-related identity theft, payday loans, Jamaican lottery scams, and Social Security fraud.
Senator Bill Nelson, chairman of the committee, said of the hotline, “If you’re contacted about an offer that sounds too good to be true, then it probably is. This new hotline will give seniors a resource to turn to for assistance if they think they’ve been victimized or have questions about fraudulent activities.”
The hotline launch coincides with the launch of the committee’s enhanced senior-friendly website. The toll-free anti-fraud hotline number is 1-855-303-9470 or the committee can be contacted through the new website: http://www.aging.senate.gov/fraud-hotline.