With this week’s approval of a bipartisan bill aimed at tackling scams involving older Americans, the U.S. House took a finalizing step towards resolving that problem.
Earlier this week, CNBC reported that the Empowering States to Protect Seniors from Bad Actors Act had been passed by a vote of 371-48.
As long as the Senate approves it and signs it into law, the bill will permit the Securities and Exchange Commission to create a Senior Investor Protection Grant program to assist state agencies and task forces in protecting and educating seniors.
According to the bill, the government will hire more investigators and upgrade its technology, training, and equipment by $10 million a year.
Additionally, the government will educate seniors about financial scams.
Senators Chris Van Hollen (D-Md. ), Tim Scott (R-S.C. ), Raphael Warnock (D-Ga.) and Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.) introduced bipartisan legislation in January.
Joshua Gottheimer, a Democrat from New Jersey, sponsored the bill after his mother was the victim of a scam involving a fictitious IRS agent.
To prevent scams, seniors should keep all of their personal and financial information private.
“We always tell seniors please don’t give your information to anybody,” Lorraine Joewono, executive director of the Bergen County [N.J.] Division of Senior Services, stated at an event hosted by Gottheimer.
“No one from the IRS is going to call you and ask you to send money,” Joewono added. “Only scammers do that.”
The law would establish a task force within the SEC whose task would be to report on financial schemes impacting investors over 65, such as robocalls and voice spoofing.