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Oct 8, 2019

Tester Moves to Crack Down on Scams Against Montana Seniors

Stop Senior Scams Act would help prevent fraud, financial loss for elderly

With reports that one in four older Americans contacted by scammers in 2018 sent money, U.S. Senator Jon Tester is backing a bill aimed at curbing the growing number of scams perpetrated against seniors.

The bill would establish a Senior Scam Prevention Advisory Council, made up of representatives from the Federal Trade Commission, the Department of Justice, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the Department of Treasury, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, and the Federal Reserve System. The Council would also include representatives from the private sector and consumer and senior advocacy organizations, and be charged with developing guidance and educational materials for retailers and financial services companies to help them stop consumers from being scammed.

“Fraudsters continue finding new ways to scam Montana’s seniors – and the data shows these crimes are on the rise,” Tester said. “So it’s more urgent than ever that we act, and this bill is a critical start—giving the federal government and industry more tools to combat fraud and make sure seniors keep their money in their pockets.”

The Federal Trade Commission says one in four seniors who were contacted by scammers sent money in 2018, an alarming rise compared to one in 14 in 2017. The Government Accountability Office estimates these scams cost seniors $2.9 billion annually, with the average senior losing about $9,000.

Tester is also a cosponsor of the Senior Fraud Prevention Act, which would direct the Federal Trade Commission to establish a fraud prevention office, educate seniors about fraud, and maintain reporting systems to help law enforcement find and prosecute scammers. A relentless champion for Montana seniors, Tester is fighting to ensure they have access to critical entitlement programs like Social Security and Medicare. He recently sponsored the Mental Health Access Improvement Act to give seniors expanded access to mental health services, and also authored a bipartisan bill to make Medicare Part D more transparent and lower costs for seniors taking prescription drugs.

Office Contact Information

Senator Tester's Montana staff serves the state from offices in Billings, Bozeman, Butte, Great Falls, Helena, Kalispell, and Missoula. Please bring your concerns with federal agencies, academy nominations, and other situations to one of these Montana offices.

Billings

Judge Jameson Federal Building
2900 4th Ave N, Suite 201
Billings, MT 59101
Phone: (406) 252-0550
Fax: (406) 252-7768

Bozeman

Avant Courier Building
1 E Main Street, Suite 202
Bozeman, MT 59715
Phone: (406) 586-4450
Fax: (406) 586-7647

Butte

Silver Bow Center
125 W Granite, Suite 200
Butte, MT 59701
Phone: (406) 723-3277
Fax: (406) 782-4717

Great Falls

119 1st Avenue N, Suite 102
Great Falls, MT 59401
Phone: (406) 452-9585
Fax: (406) 452-9586

Helena

Capital One Center
208 N Montana Avenue, Suite 202
Helena, MT 59601
Phone: (406) 449-5401
Fax: (406) 449-5462

Kalispell

8 Third Street E
Kalispell, MT 59901
Phone: (406) 257-3360
Fax: (406) 257-3974

Missoula

130 W Front St.
Missoula, MT 59802
Phone: (406) 728-3003
Fax: (406) 728-2193

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