Legislation increasing the federal government’s power to help protect elderly Americans from Internet and telephone scammers, fraudsters and other criminals passed the House by a 221-205 vote on Tuesday with the support of the full New Jersey delegation.
“We need to empower the FTC (Federal Trade Commission) to go after the online and phone scammers that victimize Americans every day,” said Rep. Donald Payne, Jr. (D-Newark). “This bill would help us protect the most vulnerable Americans, such as senior citizens, from these scams and return millions of dollars back to them. I voted for this bill because people need to know that the government supports them and will fight for them against these criminals.”
The Consumer Protection and Recovery Act (H.R.2668), co-sponsored by House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman, Frank Pallone (D-Long Branch), reinstates authority to the FTC to recover stolen money from businesses due to fraudulent activity that prey on the elderly such as pyramid schemes, imposters and computer malware.
The bill gives the FTC the ability to offer relief options, including restitution for losses, property refunds and the return of funds and possessions gained through illegal and fraudulent activities. Until recently, the FTC primarily protected and helped get Americans money back, until April, when the Supreme Court ruled that it could not return money to these victims.