Reportedly, older Americans lose approximately $36.5 billion a year to financial scams and abuse; and those numbers are increasing as technology makes it easier for scammers to target older Americans. I know my home phone rings ceaselessly with junk phone calls from marketers trying to fool me and my wife into some unscrupulous scam.
In 2016, a survey by the Investor Protection Trust found that nearly one in five seniors — approximately seven million Americans — have reported being victims of exploitation. In 2018, U.S. banks reported a record 24,454 cases of suspected elder financial abuse to the Treasury Department — more than double the number of suspected cases five years earlier.
Congress attempted to bring some help to seniors with a new bill titled “The Senior Security Act of 2019”. Our 1st District Representative, Harris, voted against it. A vote against H.R. 1867 was a vote against added financial protection for seniors in our district.
The vote was 392 voting YEA, 20 voting NAY. Harris voted NAY.
What is House Bill H.R. 1876?
This bill — the Senior Security Act of 2019 — would create a Senior Investor Taskforce at the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) that would examine and identify challenges facing senior investors. This interdivisional task force would be comprised of staff from the Division of Enforcement, Office of Compliance, Inspections and Examinations, and Office of Investor Education and Advocacy. The task force, in consultation with other SEC offices, state securities and law enforcement authorities, state insurance regulators, and federal agencies, would report its findings to Congress every two years and recommend any regulatory or statutory changes.
Further, within one year of this bill’s enactment, the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) would be required to study and report on the economic costs of the financial exploitation of senior citizens. For more information please go here.
Christopher A. Koch
Bristol Realty Corporation