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Senior Spectrum Newspaper
March 2018
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Golden Pages
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Senior Spectrum Publications

by U.S. Senator Dean Heller
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Stopping Financial Fraud against Senior Citizens 

 U.S. Senator Dean Heller
U.S. Senator Dean Heller

With 2018s tax filing season now officially underway — during which the Internal Revenue Service estimates roughly 155 million returns are expected to be filed – I want to make sure that Nevada’s seniors are adequately protected from financial scams and fraud.

Too often, senior citizens are victims of financial abuse. In fact, the FBI warns that older Americans make attractive victims for such financial schemes because they often are polite and trusting, have a “nest egg,” and excellent credit, own their home, and less expected to report a scam.

Nevada’s seniors should not have to worry about being swindled during their Golden Years, and that’s why I’ve fought to ensure that older Americans are rightfully protected from these predators.

Congress has recently made great strides on a bipartisan proposal that I strongly support to help safeguard senior citizens from financial scams.

The Senior $afe Act, S. 223, which I helped introduce in the U.S. Senate, is a bill that allows financial institutions to train their employees to identify and report financial abuse. It also protects individuals from liability for disclosing the suspected exploitation of a senior citizen to a regulatory or lawenforcement agency authorities.

This measure was unanimously approved by the U.S. House of Representatives in January and it also cleared a key hurdle in the U.S. Senate when the Senate Banking Committee, which I sit on, passed the bill as part of a larger banking regulation package at the end of last year.

The Senior $afe Act has also garnered strong support from key senior advocate groups including AARP, the nation’s largest nonprofit dedicated to helping Americans 50 and older, as well as Transamerica, and the North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA). I’m hopeful our common sense proposal will soon be considered by the full U.S. Senate.

While I’m pleased with this recent congressional action, there’s still a lot of work to do as nearly one out of every five seniors have “been taken advantage of financially in terms of an inappropriate investment, unreasonably high fees for financial services, or out-right fraud,” according to a 2016 survey conducted by The Investor Protection Trust.

That’s why I continue to work with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle on the Senate Banking and Finance Committees to crack down on these heinous financial crimes against vulnerable seniors.

As always, my office can help if you are facing trouble with the IRS this filing season, or with any other federal agency. Filing ends on Tuesday, April 17, 2018. Please visit my website: and click on the “Services” tab and scroll to “Constituent Casework.”

If you think you may be the victim of taxrelated identity theft you can file a claim at

Finally, to get a start on the process of filing your taxes, the IRS has numerous pages to help with any questions you may have. Just visit IRS’s online tool the Interactive Tax Assistant at