Press Release

McHenry Leads Work to Protect Seniors from Coronavirus Financial Scams

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Washington, March 17, 2020 | comments
Yesterday, Congressman Patrick McHenry (NC-10), the Republican Leader of the House Financial Services Committee, led the Ranking Republicans of the Committee in sending a letter to Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) Director Kathleen Kraninger, asking for her assistance in protecting seniors from coronavirus-fueled scams.

The Republican Committee leaders wrote, “In light of the evolving nature of the coronavirus, there is an increased level of fear and subsequent vulnerability to fraudulent schemes.” The Members expressed their concerns “that bad actors will use this as an opportunity to take advantage of seniors.”

The Members went on to raise concerns with the interagency guidance on the financial abuse of older adults, which has not been updated since 2013. They requested the CFPB provide an update on the magnitude of these scams and fraudulent schemes and their efforts to address them, as well as the actions Congress could take to protect seniors from these threats. 

Read the full text of the letter here or below:

Dear Director Kraninger:

As older Americans appear to be at a greater risk for and disproportionately impacted by coronavirus (COVID -19), we are concerned that there will be a corresponding increase in the number of COVID-19 scams on U.S. consumers and specifically our senior population. We are writing to request your assistance in understanding the extent and effects of COVID-19-related scams on U.S. consumers, including our senior population.

As you know, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (Bureau) is already tasked with providing educational resources to consumers about how to prevent fraud and protect themselves from financial exploitation. In light of the evolving nature of the coronavirus, there is an increased level of fear and subsequent vulnerability to fraudulent schemes. We are particularly concerned that bad actors will use this as an opportunity to take advantage of seniors.

To that end, we are concerned that the interagency guidance on the financial abuse of older adults has not been updated since 2013. We respectfully request an update from the Bureau that outlines the magnitude of scams and fraudulent schemes and the Bureau’s efforts to address them. We would also like to know if there are additional actions that Congress could take to mitigate these potential threats. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to reach out to our staff at 202-225-7502.

Sincerely,

Patrick McHenry
Ranking Member

Ann Wagner
Vice Ranking Member

Bill Huizenga
Ranking Member
Subcommittee on Investor Protection, Entrepreneurship, and Capital Markets

French Hill
Ranking Member
Subcommittee on National Security, International Development, and Monetary Policy

Blaine Luetkemeyer
Ranking Member
Subcommittee on Consumer Protection and Financial Institutions

Andy Barr
Ranking Member
Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations

Steve Stivers
Ranking Member
Subcommittee on Housing, Community Development, and Insurance
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