United States Senate Special Committee on Aging

Senior Investment Fraud and Financial Exploitation

Many Americans have heard the horror stories of seniors losing their retirement savings through one scam or another: foreign lotteries, telemarketing schemes, identity theft, and on and on. But today, seniors are facing new risks and investment fraud is on the rise. According to estimates by Consumer Action, a consumer education and advocacy group, while seniors 60 and older make up 15 percent of the U.S. population, they account for roughly 30 percent of fraud victims.

One of the keys to stopping senior scams is to help seniors spot and avoid investment scams. Senator Kohl has also been working to tighten rules that require sellers of securities to disclose their credentials and training, as well as any hidden fees or high risk investments they sell. He also believes that it should be easy for seniors to check out specific sellers to ensure they are reputable and that penalties for those who run these scams should be increased. Senator Kohl is working to ensure that law enforcement agencies have the proper resources and training to combat these crimes. Through his role on the Appropriations Committee, he has requested funding to maintain the National White Collar Crime Center, a valuable organization in the fight against senior investment fraud.