Syracuse, NY – U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand today stood at the PEACE Inc. Frank DeFrancisco Eastwood Community 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.
“Our seniors work their entire lives to have a secure, stable retirement. They deserve to be protected from scammers who seek to rob them of that security. I thank Sen. Gillibrand for introducing the Senior Financial Empowerment Act and protecting the most vulnerable in our community from fraud,” said Syracuse Mayor Stephanie A. Miner.
“The Syracuse Police Department is committed to protecting our seniors from financial predators. I support Sen. Gillibrand’s legislation as an important tool in our continued efforts to support our seniors,” said Syracuse Police Chief Frank L. Fowler.
“On behalf of the thousands of seniors PEACE, Inc. serves, we are very encouraged and gratified that Senator Gillibrand is championing this important legislation,” said Joe O’Hara, Executive Director, PEACE, Inc. “Our seniors will benefit greatly from this bill as it will give them the confidence to report predators and safeguard their scarce financial resources.”
“Working directly with senior citizens in the PEACE, Inc. Foster Grandparent Program, I see the financial struggles those with limited incomes encounter daily. I also hear the stories about the phone calls they receive from scammers preying on their limited incomes. Any assistance that can be given to protect our vulnerable seniors is greatly appreciated,” said Beth O’Hara, Director, PEACE, Inc. Foster Grandparent Program.