In 2021, Americans lost over $442 million to government imposter scams
Washington, D.C. — In a bipartisan effort to raise awareness of pervasive government imposter scams, U.S. Senators Susan Collins (R-ME) and Mark Kelly (D-AZ) introduced a resolution designating today, March 10, 2022, as National “Slam the Scam” Day. Senators Collins and Kelly, members of the Senate Aging Committee, are joining the Social Security Administration Office of Inspector General in organizing efforts to help educate Americans to avoid being defrauded through scams such as Social Security-related and Internal Revenue Service-related government imposter scams.
“Over the last two years, Maine consumers reported almost 5,000 imposter scams, one of the most commonly reported types of fraud, according to the Federal Trade Commission. National “Slam the Scam” Day provides an opportunity for those on the federal, state, and local levels to raise awareness of government imposter scams with a single message: hang up and tell someone,” said Senator Collins. “Over a period of seven years while serving as Chairman and Ranking Member of the Aging Committee, I held 25 hearings on scams, which examined government imposter schemes from a number of angles. Public awareness can help to stop these scams from the start. Let’s work together to hang up on these government imposters and put them out of business once and for all.”
“Every year, Arizonans are the targets of government imposter scams that leave them vulnerable to giving up their Medicare information or paying large sums of money. National ‘Slam the Scam’ Day creates awareness so that Arizonans have the tools needed to identify these scams, report them, and keep themselves safe,” said Senator Kelly.
Countless Americans are targeted by government imposter scams each year, including Social Security-related and Internal Revenue Service-related government imposter scams. In 2021, there were nearly 400,000 government imposter scams reported to the FTC – estimated to cost victims over $442 million. These scams disproportionately impacted seniors.
Each year, the Aging Committee releases a Fraud Book, which details the top 10 most common scams reported to the Committee’s Fraud Hotline (1-855-303-9470). Government imposter scams have been the number one complaint reported to the Senate Aging Committee’s Fraud Hotline since its inception in 2013. From 2015 to 2020, the top five reported scams to the hotline were: government imposter scams, sweepstakes scams, unsolicited phone calls and illegal phone calls, computer tech support scams, and grandparent scams.
The Senators’ bipartisan resolution was co-sponsored by Senators Bob Casey (D-PA) and Tim Scott (R-SC), the Chairman and Ranking Member of the Aging Committee.
The full resolution can be read here.