Sen. Donnelly Targets Scammers Preying on Elderly

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Lakeshore Staff

August 5, 2014 — Today Senator Joe Donnelly hosted a Field Hearing of the U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging in Indianapolis to help Hoosier seniors recognize potential warning signs of financial predators. With millions of Americans targeted by intricate consumer fraud schemes, the hearing provided an opportunity to expand the conversation, encourage collaboration, and consider ideas on how to effectively address this issue going forward.

Joyce Walker, a Hoosier whose family member was affected by a phone scam, said in prepared testimony: “My mother may have been 93-years-old, but she was nobody’s fool. So when ‘he’ called her to tell her that she had won big money, she was not about to fall for that. However, 6 weeks later when “he” called again, she fell under his spell. When I caught up with her, she had written and mailed checks for thousands of dollars to people she didn’t even know.”

The hearing entitled, “Trust Your Instincts? Tools to Empower Seniors to Identify Scams and Fraud” was on Senior Day at the Indiana State Fair and featured testimony from: the AARP of Indiana, the Indiana Association of Area Agencies on Aging, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller, and a Hoosier whose family member was affected by a phone scam. Congressman Andre Carson also participated in the hearing.

Donnelly brought together experts and Hoosiers in an effort to help ensure Hoosiers of all ages know how to identify and properly report scams and fraud.

Donnelly, who serves on the Special Committee on Aging, said, “Consumer fraud and scams have been and continue to be a significant problem, especially among our growing senior population. After a lifetime of hard work, seniors should have peace of mind knowing they can enjoy their retirement in peace and with financial security. By providing seniors with knowledge and resources to identify scams and fraud, we can reduce the number of victims who lose out financially to these often-sophisticated schemes. By bringing together lawmakers, law enforcement professionals, advocacy groups, and seniors, we strive to increase awareness of senior fraud, encourage collaboration between all stakeholders, and consider new ideas on how to effectively address this issue going forward.”

Source: Office of Sen. Joe Donnelly

Read Senator Donnelly’s full testimony

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