Elected Officials Focus on Fraud against the Elderly

By Newton, Ken | St. Joseph News-Press, January 17, 2019 | Go to article overview

Elected Officials Focus on Fraud against the Elderly


Newton, Ken, St. Joseph News-Press


When Derek Schmidt first worked as an assistant for the Kansas attorney general’s office about 20 years ago, he got assigned to the consumer protection division, even though he had no particular expertise in the area.

There, he got exposure to various scams that targeted the elderly population of that state.

“It’s the kind of thing that makes your blood boil once you see it,” said Schmidt, now serving his third term as Kansas attorney general.

Schmidt made the comment during a hearing of the U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging. The panel focused the session on various aspects of elder fraud.

Also at the hearing, another Kansan, Sen. Jerry Moran, helped introduce legislation to help retailers, banks and other businesses train employees on how to spot scams at the point of sale.

“This legislation would bring key industry and government leaders together to make certain we are doing all we can to protect seniors,” the Republican lawmaker said.

“Our nation’s seniors are among the most vulnerable consumers in this digital age, mistakenly falling victim to scammers that steal their money, identity and dignity.”

He introduced the Stop Senior Scams Act along with Pennsylvania Sen. Bob Casey, the top Democrat on the Aging Committee. Moran does not sit on the panel, but he chairs a subcommittee that oversees consumer protection laws.

The proposed legislation, endorsed by organizations like AARP and businesses such as Target and Best Buy, would create a council for development of educational materials for retailers and financial institutions, among others. …

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