Home > 106th Congressional Bills > S. 3164 (es) To protect seniors from fraud. [Engrossed in Senate] ...

S. 3164 (es) To protect seniors from fraud. [Engrossed in Senate] ...


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        S.3164

                       One Hundred Sixth Congress

                                 of the

                        United States of America


                          AT THE SECOND SESSION

           Begun and held at the City of Washington on Monday,
             the twenty-fourth day of January, two thousand


                                 An Act


 
                     To protect seniors from fraud.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the 
United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

    This Act may be cited as the ``Protecting Seniors From Fraud Act''.

SEC. 2. FINDINGS.

    Congress makes the following findings:
        (1) Older Americans are among the most rapidly growing segments 
    of our society.
        (2) Our Nation's elderly are too frequently the victims of 
    violent crime, property crime, and consumer and telemarketing 
    fraud.
        (3) The elderly are often targeted and retargeted in a range of 
    fraudulent schemes.
        (4) The TRIAD program, originally sponsored by the National 
    Sheriffs' Association, International Association of Chiefs of 
    Police, and the American Association of Retired Persons unites 
    sheriffs, police chiefs, senior volunteers, elder care providers, 
    families, and seniors to reduce the criminal victimization of the 
    elderly.
        (5) Congress should continue to support TRIAD and similar 
    community partnerships that improve the safety and quality of life 
    for millions of senior citizens.
        (6) There are few other community-based efforts that forge 
    partnerships to coordinate criminal justice and social service 
    resources to improve the safety and security of the elderly.
        (7) According to the National Consumers League, telemarketing 
    fraud costs consumers nearly $40,000,000,000 each year.
        (8) Senior citizens are often the target of telemarketing 
    fraud.
        (9) Fraudulent telemarketers compile the names of consumers who 
    are potentially vulnerable to telemarketing fraud into the so-
    called ``mooch lists''.
        (10) It is estimated that 56 percent of the names on such 
    ``mooch lists'' are individuals age 50 or older.
        (11) The Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Federal Trade 
    Commission have provided resources to assist private-sector 
    organizations to operate outreach programs to warn senior citizens 
    whose names appear on confiscated ``mooch lists''.
        (12) The Administration on Aging was formed, in part, to 
    provide senior citizens with the resources, information, and 
    assistance their special circumstances require.
        (13) The Administration on Aging has a system in place to 
    inform senior citizens of the dangers of telemarketing fraud.
        (14) Senior citizens need to be warned of the dangers of 
    telemarketing fraud before they become victims of such fraud.

SEC. 3. SENIOR FRAUD PREVENTION PROGRAM.

    (a) Authorization of Appropriations.--There is authorized to be 
appropriated to the Attorney General $1,000,000 for each of the fiscal 
years 2001 through 2005 for programs for the National Association of 
TRIAD.
    (b) Comptroller General.--The Comptroller General of the United 
States shall submit to Congress a report on the effectiveness of the 
TRIAD program 180 days prior to the expiration of the authorization 
under this Act, including an analysis of TRIAD programs and activities; 
identification of impediments to the establishment of TRIADs across the 
Nation; and recommendations to improve the effectiveness of the TRIAD 
program.

SEC. 4. DISSEMINATION OF INFORMATION.

    (a) In General.--The Secretary of Health and Human Services, acting 
through the Assistant Secretary of Health and Human Services for Aging, 
shall provide to the Attorney General of each State and publicly 
disseminate in each State, including dissemination to area agencies on 
aging, information designed to educate senior citizens and raise 
awareness about the dangers of fraud, including telemarketing and 
sweepstakes fraud.
    (b) Information.--In carrying out subsection (a), the Secretary 
shall--
        (1) inform senior citizens of the prevalence of telemarketing 
    and sweepstakes fraud targeted against them;
        (2) inform senior citizens how telemarketing and sweepstakes 
    fraud work;
        (3) inform senior citizens how to identify telemarketing and 
    sweepstakes fraud;
        (4) inform senior citizens how to protect themselves against 
    telemarketing and sweepstakes fraud, including an explanation of 
    the dangers of providing bank account, credit card, or other 
    financial or personal information over the telephone to unsolicited 
    callers;
        (5) inform senior citizens how to report suspected attempts at 
    or acts of fraud;
        (6) inform senior citizens of their consumer protection rights 
    under Federal law; and
        (7) provide such other information as the Secretary considers 
    necessary to protect senior citizens against fraudulent 
    telemarketing and sweepstakes promotions.
    (c) Means of Dissemination.--The Secretary shall determine the 
means to disseminate information under this section. In making such 
determination, the Secretary shall consider--
        (1) public service announcements;
        (2) a printed manual or pamphlet;
        (3) an Internet website;
        (4) direct mailings; and
        (5) telephone outreach to individuals whose names appear on so-
    called ``mooch lists'' confiscated from fraudulent marketers.
    (d) Priority.--In disseminating information under this section, the 
Secretary shall give priority to areas with high incidents of fraud 
against senior citizens.

SEC. 5. STUDY OF CRIMES AGAINST SENIORS.

    (a) In General.--The Attorney General shall conduct a study 
relating to crimes against seniors, in order to assist in developing 
new strategies to prevent and otherwise reduce the incidence of those 
crimes.
    (b) Issues Addressed.--The study conducted under this section shall 
include an analysis of--
        (1) the nature and type of crimes perpetrated against seniors, 
    with special focus on--
            (A) the most common types of crimes that affect seniors;
            (B) the nature and extent of telemarketing, sweepstakes, 
        and repair fraud against seniors; and
            (C) the nature and extent of financial and material fraud 
        targeted at seniors;
        (2) the risk factors associated with seniors who have been 
    victimized;
        (3) the manner in which the Federal and State criminal justice 
    systems respond to crimes against seniors;
        (4) the feasibility of States establishing and maintaining a 
    centralized computer database on the incidence of crimes against 
    seniors that will promote the uniform identification and reporting 
    of such crimes;
        (5) the effectiveness of damage awards in court actions and 
    other means by which seniors receive reimbursement and other 
    damages after fraud has been established; and
        (6) other effective ways to prevent or reduce the occurrence of 
    crimes against seniors.
SEC. 6. INCLUSION OF SENIORS IN NATIONAL CRIME VICTIMIZATION SURVEY.
    Beginning not later than 2 years after the date of enactment of 
this Act, as part of each National Crime Victimization Survey, the 
Attorney General shall include statistics relating to--
        (1) crimes targeting or disproportionately affecting seniors;
        (2) crime risk factors for seniors, including the times and 
    locations at which crimes victimizing seniors are most likely to 
    occur; and
        (3) specific characteristics of the victims of crimes who are 
    seniors, including age, gender, race or ethnicity, and 
    socioeconomic status.

SEC. 7. STATE AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT OUTREACH.

    It is the sense of Congress that State and local governments should 
fully incorporate fraud avoidance information and programs into 
programs that provide assistance to the aging.

                               Speaker of the House of Representatives.

                            Vice President of the United States and    
                                               President of the Senate.

Pages: 1

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