U.S. Senators Susan Collins, R-Maine and Kyrsten Sinema, D-Arizona, introduced a bipartisan resolution supporting the designation of May 15, as “National Senior Fraud Awareness Day.” The resolution unanimously passed the Senate.

According to the FBI, in 2023, seniors were robbed of more than $3.4 billion, an 11% increase in reported losses from 2022. This theft was done through an ever growing array of scams, ranging from tech support scams to romance scams to cryptocurrency scams.

“Combatting fraud has long been one of my top priorities. Raising awareness about fraud is key to protecting seniors’ hard-earned savings, particularly among older Americans who are more likely to be targeted,” said Senator Collins. “We have made substantial progress to protect seniors, and we must not relent in our efforts to stop con artists. By raising awareness, our resolution will help prevent seniors from becoming victims of fraud.”

Collins said there is a new phone scam targeting Mainers.

This new scam involves fraudsters pretending to be U.S. Marshals or other federal government officials by “spoofing” actual U.S. Marshal’s phone numbers to show up on caller IDs, according to a Collins press release.

During some of these calls, the fraudsters claim that the potential victim needs to immediately pay a fine or face being arrested, losing their property, bank accounts, or other consequences.


In others, the fraudster will promise to send the victim money if they pay a fee. Once the fee is collected, they will claim the IRS has stopped the payment from reaching the victim.

The U.S. Marshals Office says these scammers use many convincing tactics including citing publicly available information of the potential victims, like former address and phone numbers, in order to sound credible. They may also provide fake law enforcement badges or case numbers.

“It is outrageous that these criminals are exploiting Mainers to rob them of their hard earned savings and personal information,” Collins said. “It is important that we all take steps to protect ourselves from these scams and other forms of financial exploitation. All Mainers should be wary of phone calls, texts, or emails from unknown sources that demand you to take immediate action or provide personal information.”

For those who believe they have been a victim to such a scam, the senator encourages them to report this incident to a local FBI office and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).

Tips to help avoid scams:

•Federal officials will never ask for a credit or debit card numbers, wire transfers, or bank account numbers.


• Never divulge personal or financial information to unknown callers.

• For those who think they are being scammed, call the local FBI office and the FTC.

When reporting a scam, people may remain anonymous.

The Senate Aging Committee releases an annual Fraud Book outlining the top 10 scams reported to the Committees Fraud Hotline. To contact the Senate Aging Committee Fraud Hotline, call 1-855-303-9470.

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