Sen. Bob Casey to host live-stream hearing on robocall fraud targeting seniors | TribLIVE.com
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Sen. Bob Casey to host live-stream hearing on robocall fraud targeting seniors

Patrick Varine
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Tribune-Review file
Sen. Bob Casey will chair a hearing on robocall fraud on Wednesday, July 17, 2019. It will be live-streamed at Aging.senate.gov.
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Tribune-Review file

Delaware County Sheriff Jerry Sanders knows all too well how sophisticated robocallers and phone scammers are becoming.

This spring, con artists began “spoofing” the sheriff’s office phone number to try to scam local residents.

U.S. Sen. Bob Casey, D-Scranton and the ranking member of the Senate’s Special Committee on Aging, will hold a hearing Wednesday titled “Combating Robocall Fraud: Using Telecom Advances and Law Enforcement to Stop Scammers and Protect Seniors.”

The hearing will be streamed live at the Aging.senate.gov website.

Sanders will testify along with the granddaughter of a scam victim, telecommunications consultant and ZipDX CEO and founder David Frankel and Delany De Leon-Colon, postal inspector in charge at the U.S. Postal Service’s Criminal Investigations Unit.

Casey has introduced the Stop Senior Scams Act in the Senate, legislation which would enlist bank tellers and cashiers as a line of defense in spotting and stopping scams.

The bill would create advisory council empowered to:

  • Collect and develop model educational materials for retailers, financial institutions and wire transfer companies to share with their employees;
  • Examine ways that these businesses can use their platform to educate the public on scams;
  • Provide additional helpful information to retailers, financial institutions and wire transfer companies as they work to prevent fraud affecting older adults;
  • Publicly report information about the newly created model materials as well as recommendations, dissenting views and findings of the advisory council.

Nationally recognized consumer advocate Mary Bach of Murrysville, who has worked with Casey in trying to raise awareness about scammers, said tried-and-true fraud scams are also regularly modified in order to take advantage of popular stories in the national news cycle.

“The latest and greatest iteration has come along as new Medicare cards have rolled out,” Bach said in May. “People are getting calls about their Social Security numbers to aid in ‘changing things over’ to the new Medicare card.”

“Those have been rampant, and the bottom line with all of these imposter calls is that no legitimate agency like Medicare, the IRS or Social Security Administration is going to call you over the phone and ask for your private information,” she said.

The financial impact of scams and other financial abuse targeting seniors is estimated to total about $3 billion per year, Casey said in a news release.

The live-streamed hearing will be at 9:30 a.m., Wednesday at the Dirksen Senate Office Building in Washington, D.C.

Patrick Varine is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Patrick at 724-850-2862, [email protected] or via Twitter .

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