Nambé, N.M. – Congressman Ben Ray Luján (D-N.M.), the U.S. House Assistant Speaker, and Congressman Greg Gianforte (R-MT) introduced legislation directing the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to work with Tribal authorities to study scams targeting Tribes and Tribal members. The Protecting Indian Tribes from Scams Act also requires the FTC to submit recommendations to Congress on policies to curb these deceptive practices.
“For decades, Tribal elders have been defrauded by predators promising Social Security and Medicare benefits. Now, the fear and confusion over COVID-19 has given unscrupulous individuals new ways to swindle Tribal members out of their savings and sensitive personal information,” said Luján. “This bipartisan effort will help Congress understand the scale and scope of scams in Indian County and create smart policies to tackle this threat.”
“Scam artists have for too long targeted Tribes and Tribal members. It’s past time for this to end and to hold these criminals accountable,” said Gianforte. “Our bipartisan legislation will require the FTC to act and empower Tribal communities to combat con artists. It’s critical Congress pass this bill to help end these scams.”
The legislation introduced by Luján and Gianforte requires the FTC to:
- Conduct a study, in consultation with Tribes, on unfair or deceptive acts and practices targeted at Tribes or Tribal members;
- Submit a report to Congress on the types of scams targeted at Tribal communities, the agency’s consumer education activities related to these scams, efforts to collaborate with Tribes to prevent scams or pursue scammers, enforcement actions taken by the FTC, and recommendations for legislation to prevent these scams;
- Update its website, within six months of submitting the report, to include information for consumers and businesses on identifying and avoiding scams targeted at Tribes or Tribal members.