Top Ten Types of Scams Reported to the Hotline
- IRS Impersonation Scams
- Robocalls and Unsolicited Phone Calls
- Sweepstakes Scams / Jamaican Lottery Scam
- “Can You Hear Me?” Scams
- Grandparent Scams
- Computer Tech Support Scam
- Romance Scams
- Elder Financial Abuse
- Identity Theft
- Government Grant Scams
One of the Senate Aging Committee’s top priorities in the 115th Congress is to continue combatting fraud that targets seniors. The Fraud Hotline has been instrumental in this fight, providing more than 1,400 people in 2017 with information on common scams and offering tips on how to avoid becoming victims of fraud. In addition, Fraud Hotline investigators have encouraged victims to report fraud to the appropriate law enforcement agencies to improve the government’s data as well as its ability to prosecute the perpetrators of these scams. Committee investigators have even helped some victims recover thousands of dollars of their hard-earned retirement savings.
The Aging Committee has held hearings on seven of the top ten scams on this list. The Committee’s hearings have helped raise public awareness to prevent seniors from falling victim to these scams, as well as to provide valuable oversight of the federal government’s effort to combat these frauds and protect consumers. The Committee has pressed federal law enforcement agencies to combat fraud and put the criminals who prey on our nations’ seniors behind bars.
While tangible progress has been made in countering a number of consumer scams, it is evident that more work remains to be done. For example, in November 2017, AARP released a report that found that military veterans are more likely than other Americans to be victims of scams and that some scams are specifically aimed at programs and charities geared to veterans.
As the Aging Committee enters the second session of the 115th Congress, Chairman Collins and Ranking Member Casey intend to maintain the Committee’s focus on frauds targeting seniors and will continue to work with their Senate colleagues to ensure that law enforcement has the tools it needs to pursue these criminals and to encourage a more effective federal response to these scams.
This Fraud Book is designed to serve as a resource for seniors and others who wish to learn more about common scams and ways to avoid them. For further assistance, contact the Aging Committee’s Fraud Hotline at 1-855-303-9470