Senators Collins, Casey Lead Bipartisan Letter Calling on the VA to Step up Its Efforts to Protect Veterans from Scams

The letter was signed by 13 members of the Aging Committee

Click HERE to read the signed letter.

 

Washington, D.C.—In a continuation of their leadership to protect Americans from fraud, U.S. Senators Susan Collins (R-ME) and Bob Casey (D-PA), the Chairman and Ranking Member of the Aging Committee, sent a letter to Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Secretary Robert Wilkie to raise their concerns with the increased number of scams targeting veterans. 

 

In their letter, Senators Collins and Casey urged the VA to take action to alert veterans to the risk of scams and sought information on steps the VA has already taken to protect veterans against these scams.  Their letter was co-signed by 11 members of the Aging Committee.

 

“We are concerned that America’s Veterans are being targeted by unscrupulous scammers who are seeking to rob them of their life savings and defraud them of the benefits they have earned in service to our country,” the Senators wrote.  “It is imperative that the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) take action to alert our Veterans to the risk of these scams, and what can be done to combat them.”

 

“As scammers become more sophisticated in their efforts, it is imperative that VA play an active role in combatting financial exploitation posed by scammers,” the Senators continued.  “Veterans and their families have a right to expect that the nation they served will fight to protect them from such unscrupulous tactics… It is critical that Congress fully understands how our nation’s Veterans are affected by financial fraud, and what Veterans Affairs is doing to protect them.”

 

The Senators asked Secretary Wilkie a series of questions in order to obtain additional information on how the VA is protecting veterans from unscrupulous tactics.  They requested a response no later than November 21, 2019.

 

An AARP study from 2017 found that Veterans were twice as likely as non-Veterans to lose money to a scam. The same report found that nearly 80 percent of Veterans had reported being targeted by a scam that related to their Veteran status. 

 

To generate awareness about the disproportionate number of scams targeting veterans, Senators Collins and Casey held a hearing this week that focused on the importance of aggressively prosecuting scammers and the need to increase education and outreach to help identify fraud. 

 

Co-signers of Senators Collins and Casey’s letter included Senators Tim Scott (R-SC), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Martha McSally (R-AZ), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Marco Rubio (R-FL), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Josh Hawley (R-MO), Doug Jones (D-AL), Rick Scott (R-FL), Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ), and Jacky Rosen (D-NV).

 

Click HERE to read the signed letter.