Eugene, O – Oregon’s Senator Jeff Merkley today visited the Campbell Community Center to meet with seniors and get feedback on how we can best protect seniors from fraud and scams, improve access to pertinent information, help keep seniors in their homes, and improve long-term care. The Senator was also on hand today to lay out his priorities for the reauthorization of the Older Americans Act which is scheduled for later this year in the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions committee.
“We must do more to make sure that Oregon’s seniors are safe from con artists looking to make a quick buck,” said Merkley. “We need to get seniors the information they need to make sure they aren’t being scammed and work to end deceptive practices.”
Senator Merkley has introduced the Deceptive Loan Checks Elimination Act, which would prohibit companies from sending “live” loan checks to consumers. In these schemes, financial institutions send unsuspecting customers a check made out to them for some amount. Customers often assume that their financial institutions have sent refunds or some other business-related sum and unknowingly deposit the checks. However, the fine print on these checks actually makes them high-cost loans.
In addition to protecting seniors from financial scams, Senator Merkley also highlighted other priorities that he intends to fight for when the reauthorization of the Older Americans Act is marked up this year. The Senator stressed that helping seniors maintain and improve their quality of life is a key goal as well as improving and streamlining access to information and services for seniors.
Senator Merkley also discussed the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and its Office of Financial Protection for Older Americans division. Senator Merkley has long been a supporter of the CFPB, which will help protect older Americans from scams that threaten their financial foundations.