Washington, D.C. — In a bipartisan effort to raise awareness of government imposter telephone scams,U.S. Senator Susan Collins (R-ME), the Chairman of the Aging Committee, and Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ), a member of the Aging Committee, introduced a Senate resolution designating today, March 5, 2020, as the first National “Slam the Scam” Day. Senators Collins and Sinema are joining the Social Security Administration Office of Inspector General in organizing efforts to help educate Americans to avoid being defrauded through scams like the Social Security scam.
Senators Martha McSally (R-AZ) and Bob Casey (D-PA) are cosponsors of Senators Collins and Sinema’s resolution.
“Over the last two years, Maine consumers reported losing more than $700,000 to government imposter scams, 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 Chairman Collins. “The Aging Committee has held 25 hearings on scams over the past seven years, and we have examined government imposter scams 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.”
“Raising awareness of predatory scams will help protect Arizona seniors’ hard earned retirement benefits. I’ll keep working across the aisle to hold criminals accountable and crack down on illegal scams,” said Senator Sinema.
“No matter how many government imposter scammers we stop, there will be more, and they will devise new ways to reach—and victimize—Americans. The most effective weapon we have against scams is education,” said Gail S. Ennis, Inspector General for the Social Security Administration. “I created National ‘Slam the Scam’ Day to harness the collective power of the government to protect the public from scams, and encourage them to tell family and friends as well.”
“Coordinated efforts such as ‘Slam the Scam’ Day, which are designed to heighten public awareness, are critical in the war against the proliferation of these crimes,” said Lori Parham, AARP Maine State Director. “We are grateful for Senator Collins’ leadership in targeting these scams through her work as Chair of the Senate Aging Committee. An educated public is our best defense against the seemingly inexhaustible onslaught of scams.”
Government imposter scams have been the number one complaint reported to the Senate Aging Committee’s Fraud Hotline since its creation in 2013. Last year, the top reported scam to the Committee’s Fraud Hotline was the Social Security Administration impersonation scam. Americans reported losing nearly $38 million to this scam in 2019 alone, according to the Federal Trade Commission.
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).
Click HERE to read the Senate resolution.