NCL testifies before Senate, urges stronger protections against scams

February 1, 2024

Media contact: National Consumers League – Melody Merin,, 202-207-2831

Washington, DC – Highlighting the ongoing epidemic of fraud across the country, NCL Vice President of Public Policy, Telecommunications and Fraud John Breyault testified today before the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs. Breyault advocated for stronger consumer protections alongside Carla Sanchez-Adams, a senior attorney at the National Consumer Law Center.

“When NCL last testified before this committee in 2021, we warned that peer-to-peer payment platforms such as Zelle, Venmo, Cash App, and PayPal had become ‘payment methods of choice for scammers.’ Unfortunately, the problem has only worsened since then,” Breyault told the committee. “No amount of consumer education, better disclosure, or ‘friction’ put into payment flows will solve this problem alone. The payment platforms where fraud occurs must have a bigger financial incentive to stop scams before they happen.”

The Federal Trade Commission, the primary federal agency for reporting fraud, continues to receive record numbers of complaints, with 5.4 million reports in 2022. Since the last time Vice President Breyault appeared before the Senate Banking Committee, median losses to scams nearly doubled, from $374 per incident to $650. The emergence of new and unregulated technologies, such as peer-to-peer payment apps and cryptocurrencies, has also facilitated staggering losses. Crypto-linked fraud losses exceeded $1 billion annually in 2022 and 2023.

“We are not winning the fight against fraud,” said Breyault. “We need Congress to Act.”

Breyault urged the Banking Committee to swiftly pass bills like the Protecting Consumers From Payment Scams Act and Senator Elizabeth Warrens (D-MA) Digital Asset Anti-Money Laundering Act of 2023 to crack down on scams targeting peer-to-peer payment apps and cryptocurrencies, respectively.

This was Breyault’s fourth time speaking before Congress on policy solutions to address the incessant scams targeting Americans daily. Breyault’s full written testimony can be found here.


About the National Consumers League (NCL)

The National Consumers League, founded in 1899, is America’s pioneer consumer organization.  Our mission is to protect and promote social and economic justice for consumers and workers in the United States and abroad.  For more information, visit