Tennessee U.S. Representative Tim Burchett Re-Introduces the Veterans Protection from Fraud Act

Tennessee U.S. Representative Tim Burchett (R-TN-02) recently re-introduced a bill that would impose stricter penalties on those who target veterans through telemarketing or email marketing fraud schemes.

The Veterans Protection from Fraud Act (H.R.3956) would “add up to 10 years to a prison sentence for a criminal convicted of committing or conspiring to commit telemarketing or email marketing fraud that targeted a veteran of any age,” according to Burchett’s office.

Burchett originally introduced the bill in 2022, however, it failed to progress beyond the committee stage.

Upon re-introduction of his bill, Burchett cited an AARP survey conducted in 2021 which showed that 4 out of 5 military/veteran adults were targeted by scams directly related to their military service or the benefits they receive. The same survey also revealed that veterans, active-duty service members, and their families are nearly 40% more likely to lose money to scams and fraud than the civilian population.

“Scammers often use military jargon and specific government guidelines to craft an effective pitch to steal money from military members and veterans,” according to AARP.

“I’ve heard veterans in my district say that they’ve been targeted by these scammers and it’s absolutely sickening,” Burchett said in a statement. “These people are our nation’s finest and anyone trying to scam them deserves to have the book thrown at them. This legislation would do that and I’m proud to reintroduce it.”

Burchett’s bill, which has bipartisan support, was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives on June 9 and referred to the House Committee on the Judiciary that same day.

U.S. Representatives Chuck Fleischmann (R-TN-03), Steve Cohen (D-TN-09), Pat Fallon (R-TX-04), Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA-01), Matt Gaetz (R-FL-01), Kathy Manning (D-06-NC), Seth Moulton (D-MA-06), Wiley Nickel (D-NC-13), Maria Elvira Salazar (R-FL-27), and Greg Steube (R-FL-17) all signed onto Burchett’s bill as original cosponsors.

Burchett’s bill also has support from AARP, American Gold Star Mothers, Blinded American Veterans Foundation, Paralyzed Veterans of America, Veterans of Foreign Wars, the Tennessee congressman’s office notes.

In a letter to Burchett announcing its support of his bill, AARP wrote, “Our service members and veterans protect us; we must do the same for them and their families. AARP appreciates your efforts to combat fraud against our nation’s veterans and looks forward to working with you to enact this legislation.”

The United States Postal Inspection Service writes on its website that veterans are susceptible to scams because they “implicitly trust fellow members of the military, making them vulnerable to imposters claiming to be veterans themselves.”

“Sometimes, because of their military experiences, veterans also find it more difficult to recognize and combat the emotional manipulation used by scam artists,” the United States Postal Inspection Service adds.

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Kaitlin Housler is a reporter at The Tennessee Star and The Star News Network.
Photo “Tim Burchett” by Congressman Tim Burchett. Background Photo “U.S. Capitol” by
Andy Feliciotti.


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