SC senator working to prevent rising fraud cases targeting elderly people

COLUMBIA, SC (WOLO) — South Carolina Senator Tim Scott is one of many lawmakers working to protect senior citizens from financial scams.

In 2021, South Carolinians lost almost $50 million to scammers.

“We have a sacred duty to protect seniors and their families against scammers and criminals,” said Sen. Bob Casey, a Democrat from Pennsylvania.

Earlier this year, the bipartisan Stop Senior Scam Act directed the Federal Trade Commission to work to prevent fraud among elderly people.

The FTC reports that in 2021 alone, scammers defrauded seniors out of a billion dollars.


“It’s a different kind of evil to take advantage of our seniors,” Sen. Scott said. “According to the FTC, identity theft  was the number one scam in South Carolina in 2021 with 17,642 cases.”

“But it’s romance scams that lead the pack in terms of personal financial cost,” said Marti DeLiema, University of Minnesota professor.

DeLiema says whether it’s a romance, healthcare, cryptocurrency or government agency imposter scam, she believes the private sector can do more to fight fraud.”

“Legislation such as the Trace Act is a fantastic example of how phone companies with help from Congress can limit unwanted and fraudulent calls,” DeLiema said. “We need similar solutions applied to other methods on contact from bogus text messages to fake social media profiles.”


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