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Fraud and Scam Reduction Act

Floor Speech

Date: Nov. 17, 2020
Location: Washington, DC


Mr. LUJAN. Mr. Speaker, I am proud to support the Fraud and Scam Reduction Act, which includes my bipartisan Protecting Indian Tribes from Scams Act that I introduced alongside Representative Gianforte, to address the rise of scams during this deadly pandemic.

As our Nation grieves the loss of more than 247,000 Americans to COVID-19, and millions of families experience financial hardship, it is nothing short of reprehensible that scammers are preying on the most vulnerable amongst us.

Fraud reports to the Federal Trade Commission, which had been steady at 770,000 per quarter over the past 4 years, jumped to 1.1 million this summer, including an increase of 144 percent coinciding with the pandemic. That demonstrates why we must come together to protect Americans against fraud and theft.

Nationwide, predatory schemes have already cost Americans over $1.5 billion in stolen assets so far in 2020. Scammers have targeted the $1,200 economic impact payments, peddled false treatments for COVID-19, and attempted to sell defective personal protective equipment at a time when the fears and confusion over COVID-19 remain high.

These scams have put elders', military servicemembers', and families' health and finances at risk, and it is time for Congress to put an end to the despicable practice. This bipartisan effort will help Congress take additional measures to tackle this threat and better understand the scale of this crisis.

As COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations rise in New Mexico and across the Nation, I will continue working, on a bipartisan basis, to provide additional relief and alleviate the financial pressures that all New Mexicans are facing.

Mr. Speaker, I urge my colleagues to support this legislation to protect our communities against scams and fraud.

I thank the chairman for his work. I thank Chairwoman Schakowsky for her work. And I thank Chairman and current Ranking Member Greg Walden for his work, his commitment to his constituents, his service to the people of America.

Mr. Speaker, Greg is a good friend. It has been fun to spar with him. It has been fun to work with him. I look forward to his public service after he retires from the U.S. House of Representatives.