Sen. Casey’s Bill Targets Scammers Who Target Seniors

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WILKES-BARRE -- U.S. Senator Bob Casey announced his new anti-scamming bill at a field hearing at the Luzerne County Courthouse. The bill aims to stop scammers who target seniors by increasing the maximum fines.

“You want to hunt these people down and hold them accountable for destroying someone's life,” Casey said.

Sarah Berhammer of Kingston Township is a victim of an identity scam. Someone stole her husband's credit card information in 2011, charging thousands of dollars.

“I couldn't believe it. I says, 'He's deceased. How could they steal his identity?'” she said.

The crook has been caught and she hopes Casey’s bill to stiffen penalties will make someone think twice before trying to scam someone else.

But identity theft and phone scams are all too common, and Senator Casey’s bill does not address a way to make it easier for prosecutors to catch scammers. They are almost never caught.

"Roadblocks are put up when it's outside of the country,” said Luzerne County District Attorney Stefanie Salavantis. “We need to work closely with foreign partners, financial industries, local law enforcement, everybody working together.”

That includes a recent IRS scam. Officials warn if you receive a call from the IRS saying you owe them money, it's a scam. The IRS does not call and does not threaten you with arrest.


  • TomT

    This is nothing more than a political stunt. Big deal, you want to do something for seniors put the 750 billion, that`s right billion, that Obama took out of Medicare back into Medicare. That`s doing something for seniors. This guy is nothing more than an empty suit, a Federal politician in Wolf`s clothing, pun intended.

  • magicmikexxsm

    Hey Bob Casey , it’s nice that you want to protect seniors , but how about a bill that protects all of us young and old, and gives harsher penalties to the scammers……

  • Valfreyja

    A noble sentiment, but an out dated, cold war methodology. Deterrence is poor medicine for society’s ills. The best way to deter crime is to create the economic conditions in society that make an honest life preferable to a dishonest one. In the utterly broken state of Pennsylvania, this sadly means we must try to simply make an honest life AVAILABLE to people. There is no %100 effective method. Crime will always exist. But numbers do matter and our tax dollars will be far better validated building up society instead of holding on to the nightmare scenario the “tough on crime” mentality has left us with.

    “Tough on crime” has been our judicial motto in this state since well before I was born. And in the time I’ve been alive I’ve seen the mid state go from a pleasant, if humble, pastoral society in which people left their doors unlocked and children ran free without fear in the hearts of their parents, to a dystopic waste of burned out mining towns who’s air is acrid with the stink of bargain basement meth labs. Tough on crime did not work. It has never worked. If it had, we would not be in this mess. The greed in the Harrisburg legislature has mirrored that of our national congress and this gluttony has sopped the economic prosperity from the very rocks under our feet. It has left people with fewer choices than ever, and paths which used to be lauded as noble (such as college) are now looked at with suspicion thanks to unchecked debt which has grown at a rate many times higher than national inflation! These jackals play games with out life-blood budget as children are about to go hungry because schools will soon have to cut free meals.


    We must not give in to our base instincts here. We can not fall back on the anger that makes the “tough on crime” rhetoric balm so cooly on (rightly) burned egos. We can rest assured the mafia in Harrisburg will not help us. Our House Representative and Senators in Harrisburg have been comfortable in their positions since the Reagan administration and their methodologies reflect that era’s realities more so than the ones we face today. Our only way forward is up; our state must be rebuilt from the dust the fracking companies and hyenas have left for us. A just sentence for a crime is required. But our efforts need to be focused on creating those conditions in which people are rewarded for doing the right thing instead of punished. THAT is how you fix the drug problem in WIlkesbarre. THAT is how you fix the employment problems in the Northern Tier and Allegheny Plataeu which make honest working men fight for the criminal jobs the oil companies have throw to them.

    And shame on you, WNEP, for being so triffingly guttless in your cowardly failure to call out our government for these crimes, for pandering to the base instincts and partisan egos of your viewers to preserve ratings. Lies from smiling faces are the most sinister variety.

    • TomT

      Lets tell the rest of the story. The politically correct establishment politicians call people who want to build a wall to secure the border racists and other names and tell us we are prejudice while 90% of the drugs coming into this Country for years and years are now causing an epidemic problem that was even mentioned in the New Hampshire debate with a radio talk show host asking Mr. Trump what he intends to do about the problem as young people are dying across the Country and crime is out of proportion and people in communities all across the Country are conducting meetings to try and deal with the problem while the Republicans want the border open, “stop Trump movement”, for cheap labor and the Democrats want the border open for votes and then can`t understand why the voters are so angry with the establishment when the answer to a good many problems including employment, drugs and crime is right there under their collective noses only it does not their agenda.
      They are destroying our Country and we are letting them do it. Sure crime is a problem, many people are addicted, look past the rhetoric follow the money and you will have your answers and until we throw all the bums out and elect people who will do what they say they will do nothing will change.

      • Valfreyja

        We’re speaking about state level politics here. Take your racist Trump hard on elsewhere. YOU are the problem.

      • TomT

        Perhaps you do not realize it but the battle is on the State level have you never heard of sanctuary cities, we have several in Penna and you make my point exactly, as soon as someone mentions securing the borders to stop the flow of drugs an crime, which by the way a Country has a right to do, wing nuts like YOU call us a racist. That is why the Country is in the shape it`s in, in other words the problems in this State do not stop at the State line, it is all inter connected on both Federal and State levels, in fact the problems in this State are all inter-connected on many levels with no simple answers, however I assure you name calling does not solve a single issue.

    • TomT

      You make my point exactly, the minute anyone suggests that the border needs to be secured you call them a racist. Perhaps you don`t know this but the state problems are all interconnected to the Federal problems. Have you never heard of sanctuary cities, we have them in Penna. and by the way nothing ever gets solved by name calling, you just reduced yourself to the level of the people you complain about. One last point, a Country has a right and a duty to protect it`s borders to prevent crime, drugs and terrorists from entering the Country and whether you want to admit it or not DRUGS are the problem and having several family members in law enforcement I can assure you it is no secret that 90% of it comes across the Southern border and that is not racist, it is a fact.

  • Raul Sanchez Goozallass

    must be an election year coming up for sleepy Bobby. Why else would he think of such a thing? and what does his god Obama think of this ?

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