AARP AARP States Minnesota Advocacy

HOUSE ACTS TO PROTECT SENIORS FROM WIRE FRAUD

wire scam
Boffeli, Seth

AARP Minnesota commended a bipartisan group of state legislators today after the House of Representatives overwhelmingly approved legislation, HF 194, to crack down on wire transfer fraud.  According to the Minnesota Department of Public Safety, tens of thousands of Minnesotans have been scammed by making a wire transfer, resulting in millions of dollars of loss per year.

"These scams – include posing as a victim’s relative or falsely promising large lottery winnings and cash prizes -- predominantly target the elderly.  They require the victims to send funds through wire transfers, but instead of going to help a grandson who is supposedly in trouble, the money goes to crooks in places like Jamaica,” said AARP State Director Michele Kimball. “Because there are insufficient protections, many scam artists prefer to use wire transfers.”

This legislation will help protect seniors from fraud by requiring wire transfer companies to confirm that the location provided by the sender is the location where the money ends up.  Too often, the sender believes the money is going to help a grandchild or a friend in a particular state or country – but the money is actually being transferred to a fraud “hotspot” in a different location.

“While we can never prevent all fraud in Minnesota, we can do more to protect our most vulnerable,” said Kimball.  “By simply requiring wire transfer companies to get consumer approval before money is picked up in a location that it was not intended to go, we can stop many of these heartbreaking scams from happening.”

Similar legislation is pending in the State Senate and AARP is urging swift passage.  Supporters are hopeful that the legislation will be sent to Governor Dayton later in the month.

Contact AARP Minnesota
Contact information and more from your state office. Learn what we are doing to champion social change and help you live your best life.