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Klobuchar urges efforts to fight fraud targeted at seniors

U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar and the American Association of Retired People (AARP) joined seniors from across the state on Senior Day at the State Fair to discuss efforts to crack down on fraud targeted at seniors and telemarketers who violate the Do-Not-Call list.

Klobuchar also recently urged the Department of Justice to ramp up efforts fighting mass marketing scams, including scams that are violating the protections of the Do-Not-Call registry.

"Too often seniors can have their entire life savings snatched up in scams specifically designed to target their assets, and too many bad actors are ignoring existing rules like the Do-Not-Call list to make a quick buck," Klobuchar said.

Peggy Heistad-Harri, a Duluth native who spoke at the event at the State Fair, told the story of her mother who was swindled out of $47,000 after receiving repeated phone calls telling her she had won a car and requesting that she send money to Jamaica to have it shipped to her in Duluth. Ultimately the fraudulent telemarketers were able to learn more about her assets and talk her into maxing out multiple credit cards.

Klobuchar recently introduced the bipartisan Senior Fraud Protection Act, which would help fight scams designed to strip seniors of their assets by helping educate seniors about fraud schemes, and improving monitoring and response to fraud.

The bill would also require the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the agency responsible for handling consumer complaints, to coordinate with other agencies to monitor the market for fraud schemes targeting seniors.

In addition, the bill would require the FTC to distribute information materials to seniors, their families, and their caregivers that explains the process for contacting law enforcement authorities in the event that a senior is targeted in a fraud scheme.