WASHINGTON, DC — The Senate Aging Committee is looking into scams targeting veterans and how the VA may be able to protect them.Speaking at the Capitol, Chairwoman Susan Collins said it is important to raise awareness about these issues and help veterans recover lost assets.
“One issue that calls for our immediate action is to fight a newer enemy facing our veterans, and that is those relentless con artists who seek to rob them of their life savings and defraud them of the benefits they have earned in service to our country,” Collins said in the hearing.
Ranking Member Bob Casey said he wants to see more effort from the Department of Veterans Affairs.
Testifying on the difficulty these veterans face was scamming victim LaVerne Foreman, Army and Air Force Veteran, who said, “For the most part, people thank me for my service. It never occurred to me that someone could be so cold-hearted to make calls and claim to be caring for veterans, when in reality they were lining their own pockets.”
District Attorney W. Dewayne Richardson testified about the difficulty associated with bringing scammers to justice.
Suggested solutions were centralized services and a national database to assist prosecutors to bring financial fraud cases to justice.
In the past six years, Senator Collins’ Aging Committee has held 23 hearings focused on financial fraud and scams. Senator Collins has also helped lead efforts to fight against robocalls. In July, she chaired a hearing assessing the government’s response to these illegal calls. She also introduced a bill to crack down on the deceptive caller-ID “spoofing” tactic many robocallers use, and she successfully pushed the FCC to approve a proposal to allow carriers to block illegal robocalls by default.