Endicott, NY – U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand today stood at the Broome West Senior 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 tools to get help if they have been a victim of this crime.”
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 critical information regarding financial abuse, standardize and improve the way elder 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 older adults before it happens.
“Senator Gillibrand’s legislation will provide a critical tool for protecting older adults from the devastating effects of financial fraud,” said Attorney General Eric Schneiderman. “I share Senator Gillibrand’s concern about this important issue and have made prosecuting fraudsters who target seniors a top priority. I applaud Senator Gillibrand for her leadership in proposing the Senior Financial Empowerment Act.”
“We need to do everything we can to protect seniors in our community,” said Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo, Chair of the Assembly Committee on Aging. “Older New Yorkers, especially in the digital age, are more susceptible to fraud and financial abuse. I commend Senator Gillibrand for putting this initiative forward and will be working on a variety of measures at the state level that complement the Senator’s bill.”
“Everything we can do to make sure seniors in Broome County have the resources to fight financial fraud and abuse is absolutely critical and commendable,” said Broome County Executive Jason Garnar. “Senator Gillibrand’s bill will not only help in this effort it will work to proactively educate seniors so they have the power to address this situation before it becomes a problem.”
“Action for Older Persons receives numerous calls from victims of financial fraud and abuse each year. Financial losses by some have totaled more than $30,000,” said Casondra Hamilton, Executive Director of Action for Older Persons. “I am grateful that Senator Gillibrand is working to proactively address this ongoing challenge.”