In ongoing efforts to protect seniors from financial scams, a Senate committee has launched a new anti-fraud hotline that seniors can call if they suspect they have been a victim of a variety of financial schemes, including reverse mortgages.
Last week, the U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging unveiled its toll-free hotline with the intention of making it easier for seniors and their loved ones to report suspected fraud and receive assistance.
The hotline will be staffed by a team of committee investigators who have experience with investment scams, identity theft, bogus sweepstakes and lottery schemes, Medicare and Social Security fraud and a variety of other senior exploitation issues.
Seniors who suspect instances of reverse mortgage fraud can also call upon the hotline, said a spokeswoman from the Committee during a phone call with RMD.
Upon receiving complaints, the Committee investigators will then directly examine the case and, if appropriate, refer consumers to the proper authorities.
Special Committee on Aging Chairman Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL) and Ranking Member Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) have made consumer protections and fraud prevention a primary focus of the committee’s work, as this year the panel has held hearings examining tax-related identity theft, Social Security fraud and payday loans impact on seniors.
“If you’re contacted about an offer that sounds too good to be true, then it probably is,” said Nelson in a release. “This new hotline will give seniors a resource to turn to for assistance if they think they’ve been victimized or have questions about fraudulent activities.”
The unveiling of the hotline also coincides with the Committee’s launch of an enhanced senior-friendly website. The site includes new features like large print as well as simplified navigation and site layout, which the Committee intends will enable senior visitors to find information more easily and conveniently.
Online visitors can also increase text size on the webpage, change colors or view a text-only version of the site.
“Ensuring that seniors are as equipped as possible to avoid becoming victims of fraud and other scams is among our committee’s top priorities,” said Collins. “This new hotline offered by the Senate Special Committee on Aging will help to identify and put a stop to the cruel scams that hurt seniors and their families.”
The Committee’s anti-fraud hotline will be staffed weekdays from 9am to 5pm Eastern Standard Time.
Written by Jason Oliva