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4 Tips to Protect Seniors Against Fraud and Identity Theft

Although most anyone can be a target of fraud and identity theft, senior identity theft is on the rise and those ages 50+ are often in the cross-hairs of scammers. The U.S. government is taking steps to help circumvent the high level of fraud aimed at seniors, but it can only do so much — and progress in this area has been fairly slow. Some states are taking matters into their own hands — such as Missouri, which signed a bill that helps protect seniors by allowing financial professionals to put holds on suspicious transactions — but many are hoping for something on the federal level.

A bill aptly named the Seniors Fraud Prevention Act has been introduced in Congress twice now, once in 2013 and again in 2015. The bill aims to establish an advisory office within the Federal Trade Commission’s Bureau of Consumer Protection that works to help prevent fraud that targets seniors. The advisory office would do so through monitoring of the market for mail, television, Internet and telemarketing fraud that specifically targets seniors and informing both seniors and their caregivers of any possible threats. A website would also be created with tips and resources. Unfortunately, the bill hasn’t gained much traction and is currently projected as having a 1 percent chance of being enacted.  Read more…