Bill seeks to reduce fraud against seniors

Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO), left, and Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) lead a Sept. 7 Senate Special Committee on Aging meeting.
Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO), left, and Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) lead a Sept. 7 Senate Special Committee on Aging meeting.

Maybe the third time will be the charm.

Sens. Susan Collins (R-ME) and Claire McCaskill (D-MO) introduced the Senior$afe Act of 2017 on Tuesday, the legislature's third recent attempt to make it easier for financial institutions to report suspected fraud against older adults to the proper authorities.

The Senior$afe Act is based on the Senior$afe program in Collin's home state. The act, if it becomes law, would:

  • Encourage banks, credit unions, investment advisers, broker-dealers, insurance companies and insurance agencies to report suspected senior financial fraud.
  • Protect those institutions from being sued for making reports as long as they have trained their employees and made reports in good faith and on a reasonable basis to the proper authorities.

Collins, chairwoman of the Senate Special Committee on Aging, and McCaskill, the former ranking member, had introduced a similar act in 2015, and the House of Representatives considered the Senior$afe Act of 2016, but neither ultimately became law.

The 2017 bill has bipartisan support in the Senate. Co-sponsors include Sens. John Barrasso (R-WY), Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), Bob Casey (D-PA), Joe Donnelly (D-IN), Dean Heller (R-NV), Johnny Isakson (R-GA), Angus King (I-ME), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Jon Tester (D-MT), Thom Tillis (R-NC) and Roger Wicker (R-MS). Casey was named McCaskill's successor as ranking member of the Senate Aging Committee.

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