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Blog Article Spring 2019

From our Executive Director’s Desk Like many of you, our blog readers, I am a senior.  And as a senior, I get calls from strangers trying to sell me things. Last week, I received a call from yet another stranger.  Because I research scams targeting seniors, I didn’t hang up. The caller told me he was sure I could use a back brace and assured me it was absolutely free – no cost to me.  All he needed was my full name, date of birth, address for shipping and Medicare number.  When I refused to give out my personal information or Medicare number, he hung up. This attempt at Medicare fraud was unsuccessful because I am aware of how it works.  If you get a call like this, never give out any personal information or your Medicare number.  Your personal information can be sold to other scammers, and you may be denied needed durable medical equipment in the future by Medicare. Have a question about a call you received...

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Could it Happen to You?

Our 88 year old client was approached by 3 door – to – door salespeople about applying a special, “environmentally friendly” exterior paint to her home.  Our client explained that she had just had her home painted but they wouldn’t leave until she agreed to the work.  Feeling pressured, she signed some papers to get these 3 strangers out of her home. The men told her PACE (Property Assessed Clean Energy) financing would take care of it and help her out.  The contract price was over $28,000, adding $2,800 to her property tax bill for 20 years. Could she afford it? No!  Did she understand how PACE financing works?  No! Maybe it could happen to you.  To protect yourself, don’t open the door to people who just show up. Talk “through the door” before opening it because once you let them in, it can be very hard to get them out.   If you are a senior and have questions about a home improvement contract, call us for free...

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Elder Abuse Restraining Order – Can it help you?

June 15th is World Elder Abuse Awareness Day.  Elder Abuse is reported by about 1 in 10 older adults but thought to be vastly underreported. Elder abuse is the physical abuse, mental suffering, sexual abuse, financial abuse, or neglect of someone 65 years old or over. Although it can be inflicted by a stranger, a neighbor or an acquaintance, it is too often inflicted by a caregiver, child, or spouse. The stress of caregiving and financial strain create circumstances that are especially susceptible to abuse. Elders are often stuck in these situations without the physical capability to leave or financial means to seek help. If someone finds themselves in this situation and are in danger, they should call the police. In addition, there are resources in San Diego County that can help to construct a comprehensive protection plan. A Civil Elder Abuse and Dependent Adult Restraining Order is one of these tools.  In so many instances, stopping an abuser’s physical access to the elder or to the elder’s assets...

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Scam Alert

NEW MEDICARE CARDS GIVE SCAMMERS NEW IDEAS According to the Department of Health & Human Services, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), new Medicare cards will be mailed out beginning in April 2018.  The new cards contain a unique, randomly assigned number that replaces the current Social Security-based number. “The goal of the initiative to remove Social Security numbers from Medicare cards is to help prevent fraud, combat identity theft, and safeguard taxpayer dollars,” said CMS Administrator Seema Verma. Good news, right?  This is very good news for beneficiaries who want more protection.  However, according to the AARP Fraud Watch Network, the proposed change presented an opening to scammers.  Scammers went to work as soon as they learned about the rollout of the new cards. Here are some of the ways scammers have tried to use the new card rollout to scam Medicare beneficiaries: Calling and claiming to be from Medicare- The caller states that Congress requires a fee for the new card and it must come directly...

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Scam Alerts

SCAMS AND FRAUD SCHEMES OPERATING IN OUR COMMUNITIES   [CREATING POVERTY FOR OLDER ADULTS SERIES] When older individuals are scammed out of their savings, retirement and other funds, the logical result is a decrease in money needed to live.  This would be the case for anyone, but for a person who is not able to work anymore, there is no way to make up for what has been lost.  The result is a lower standard of living for some and for others, poverty. Once the money is gone, in many cases, it is very difficult to get it back.  As the old saying goes-‘an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure’. CURRENT SCAM-FALSE FAXES AND EERIE EMAILS The problem: You got a fax or an email from someone who needs your help. How did it happen?  Scammers and fraudsters have gotten your fax or email address without your permission! What is the ‘pitch’? In return for a fantastic sum of money, you help out by becoming the...

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