Elmira, NY – U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand today stood at the Economic Opportunity Program Inc., Ernie Davis Family Center to announce the Senior Financial Empowerment Act, new legislation to protect seniors from financial fraud.
“Senior fraud is a destructive and dangerous crime, in which scammers prey on vulnerable citizens, steal their personal information, and harm them financially with very few consequences,” said Senator Gillibrand. “Under the current system, when seniors report these crimes, the information often isn’t shared with the proper authorities, and scammers are able to continue committing these crimes against other seniors. We need to do everything we can to prevent and fight back against senior fraud. This new legislation would give seniors the resources they need to be educated about this crime and the tools they need to get help if they have been a victim of fraud.”
Every year, it is estimated that tens of thousands of seniors in New York are victims of financial scams and abuse. The Senior Financial Empowerment Act would ensure that seniors and their caregivers have access to critical information regarding financial abuse. The bill would standardize and improve the way senior financial abuse is reported, establish a national hotline that would advise seniors on where and how to report fraud, and provide more resources to combat financial exploitation of seniors before it happens.
“The Chemung County Department of Aging and Long Term Care has seen an alarming increase in requests for assistance from victims of scams and other financial abuse. While mental impairment increases the risk of abuse, being a victim does NOT indicate that someone is mentally impaired. All varieties of abuse can happen to anyone, and financial exploitation is particularly prevalent. The impact on victims, their families, and our community is devastating. Financial abuse is a nationwide problem that requires a nationwide solution,” said Pamela M. Brown, Director, Chemung Office of Aging and Long Term Care.
“Every day older New Yorkers fall victim to unscrupulous scammers who not only rob them of their money, but also their future security. This type of crime is an epidemic, but unfortunately many older adults are too scared and too ashamed to report these crimes. The Senior Financial Empowerment Act, proposed by Senator Gillibrand, would ensure that older adults and their caregivers have critical information regarding financial abuse, standardize and improve the way elder financial abuse is reported, and establish a national hotline that would advise people on where and how to report fraud. I also applaud efforts to provide more resources to combat financial exploitation of older adults before it happens. I want to thank Senator Gillibrand for taking the lead to help all older adults,” said Ann Marie Cook, President/CEO of Lifespan.