WASHINGTON UPDATE: For years, Factfinder 12 investigator Michael Schwanke has warned you about scams to make sure you "don't fall for it."
Tuesday, Schwanke took the message to the United States Senate in Washington, D.C. Schwanke spent the day on Capitol Hill, testifying before a Senate committee, talking about how scams have cost many Kansans thousands of dollars.
Schwanke was invited to testify by Senator Jerry Moran who chairs the committee on consumer protection. Other witnesses who shared their stories and expertise included Maureen Ohlhausen, acting chairperson of the Federal Trade Commission, FTC Commissioner Terrell McSweeny, Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine and Frank Abagnale, of Abagnale & Associates, a financial fraud consultancy company.
What's the solution when it comes to protecting you from scams? The theme from every witness at the hearing Tuesday: more education.
There are senators hoping for stronger punishments and more pursuit of these scammers.
"But I think what you can expect from decision makers here in D.C. is a push for more education," Schwanke says. "Imposter scams are No. 1, those who call claiming to be with an agency like the IRS or local police.
One recent impostor scam sought to take advantage of people trying to help those impacted by recent wildfires in Kansas..
You can find out more about scams FactFinder 12 has warned Kansans about HERE.
FactFinder 12 is on Capitol Hill this week, there to share stories from Kansas about scams.
You can watch Michael's testimony through live streaming video on the U.S. Senate's Webpage.
Investigator Michael Schwanke was invited to testify before a senate committee Tuesday. The hearing, entitled “Staying a Step Ahead: Fighting Back Against Scams Used to Defraud Americans”, will focus broadly on state and federal efforts to stop scams and protect consumers.
It's the calls, the emails and the stories you've helped our reporters tell and warn others about over the years, that bring us to Washington, D.C.
Kansas Senator Jerry Moran, who chairs the committee, invited Schwanke to share some of the stories he's researched and shared for FactFinder 12. The idea is to help in both state and federal efforts to combat scammers and protect you against fraud.
What we've learned over the years covering scams is that there is little anyone can do to stop scammers from trying. That means it comes down to education, so people can learn how to spot a scam and avoid becoming a victim.
"This is an opportunity for us to hear from those who have expertise and try to raise awareness on how to avoid being scammed on the phone or to look at the new technology people are using to take advantage of others," says Moran, who chairs the Subcommittee on Consumer Protection, Product Safety, Insurance and Data Security.
Testifying with Schwanke Tuesday are Maureen Ohlhausen, acting chairperson of the Federal Trade Commission, FTC Commissioner Terrell McSweeny, Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine and Frank Abagnale, of Abagnale & Associates, a financial fraud consultancy company.
You can catch Schwanke's testimony and those of the experts Tuesday at 1:30 p.m. You will be able to watch a live stream of the event HERE.