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

S. 3164 (is) To protect seniors from fraud. [Introduced in Senate] ...


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106th CONGRESS
  2d Session
                                S. 3164

_______________________________________________________________________

                                 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.

            Passed the Senate October 24 (legislative day, September 
      22), 2000.

            Attest:

                                                             Secretary.
106th CONGRESS

  2d Session

                                S. 3164

_______________________________________________________________________

                                 AN ACT

                     To protect seniors from fraud.

Pages: 1

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