Are you Smarter than a Scam Artist? 2015 AASC National Conference Nashville, Tennessee

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1 Are you Smarter than a Scam Artist? 2015 AASC National Conference Nashville, Tennessee Government Grants The government gives grants to special people like you! Stimulus money is still available through grants. Direct deposit what is your bank account number? It is just $500 to complete the application for $3,000 Takes 6 months for the grant to go through Reality The government does not give grants to individuals Never pay money to get money it is a scam!! 1

2 Computer Safety Everyone is vulnerable to Internet scams but older adults are most likely to: Click on pop-up ads this leads people to unsafe websites asking for personal Opening an from an unknown sender Could be a scam Could expose your computer to viruses or malware Fall victim to the phone scam telling them they have a virus on their computer Gives strangers access to their computer Equivalent to letting a burglar into your house while you watch them sell your stuff. Phishing s We are the FBI and you are downloading child pornography! We are the FBI and we know you are laundering money! Dear Friend or Blessed one God has sent me to you Reality God does not have your address nor does the FBI The majority of older adults struggle with the internet and how it works. God must have given it to them if they found me. They are not familiar with how actually works and how addresses are stolen. 2

3 Friendly Strangers Can you help me With a tank of gas With just $5 for diapers With $20 for a bus ticket With just a little bit of money to get me down the road Excuse me Ma am Your tires are really low we can help you You have a tire that is wobbling that is dangerous we can help We can fix that ding for you Reality scam artists working the neighborhood stealing money. No matter now sad the story do not listen walk/drive away! Investment Scams Free lunch to hear about a great investment opportunity. Have I got a deal for you! Return rate is nothing like anyone else is seeing! This offer is only open only to select people, YOU have to get in now or lose the opportunity. The door is closing, YOU have to make a decision now!!! Reality legitimate people give you time to think and review the deal. Always check out offers/ brokers with all regulatory agencies, federal and state Be prepared and have a script. 3

4 Persuasion is Key Look for these red flags: Phantom Riches Source Credibility Social Consensus Reciprocity Scarcity Grandparent Scam? Here is how this scam works A scammer claims to be a grandchild who needs emergency cash. Conversation is limited or child does not sound like himself. You are asked to wire immediately Told to keep the call a secret from other family members to reduce embarrassment. Be Smart, Be Safe, Be Heard! Verify the caller's identity by asking personal questions that a stranger could not answer. Resist the pressure to act immediately. Call someone you know and trust to help verify the story. Avoid sending money by immediate overnight service.. Do not give your credit card or bank information to anyone you don't know personally. 4

5 IRS Scam 5

6 Most Dangerous Household Item Seniors cannot resist answering the phone! Need to screen all calls. Use an answering machine, caller ID is unreliable. Do not return calls useless they leave a message. Never give personal information to anyone who calls YOU!! How do they get Our Info? Simple YOU give it to them! Robo calls push 2 to be taken off our lists. Responding to unsolicited s Entering contests Scamming world is a tiered network One group looks for valid contact info to sell to The skilled con artists then make the human contact. Never get into long conversations with strangers! Only provides them more time to trick you. Encourages to keep calling back. 6

7 Healthcare Fraud The most common fraud schemes you may see with your residents include: Durable Medical Equipment (DME) Home Health Care Learn to Recognize the Bad Guys... Other Common Healthcare Scams Free Health Screenings a vendor offers free health care screenings, lab tests, tests or other services but asks for a person s Medicare number. Free Education Programs Free lunch! Vendors will come in with free food and education but what they want are Medicare numbers. Insurance Bait & Switch or Cross-selling licensed agents present information about a Medicare Advantage plan and then sign people up for a plan that isn t right for them. Medical Identity Theft this can happen when someone uses a person s Social Security number or Medicare number, date of birth, credit card number or other personal information. 7

8 What You Can Do Create a system for protecting your residents: Have a sign-in sheet for all vendors Monitor vendors when they are on the premises, particularly if they have a partner. Turn the tables! Ask them questions who are they? What do they want? Where are they from? Request a biography before the presentation, check references, Do not let them collect Medicare numbers Do not allow presenters to get names and phone numbers. What You Can Do Do not allow a sales pitch. Screen any group that wants to provide information see if they are approved and if they have complaints with the BBB Review all materials that are distributed. Create written agreements that clarify vendor roles and responsibilities. Be wary of free things: prizes, meals, groceries Fraud awareness training for your whole staff. 8

9 Take Action You are in a unique position to protect older adults from these crimes! Refer to the handout, Protecting Seniors from Health Care Fraud in Community Settings: Tips for Senior Center & Senior Housing Staff. Utilize resources available from the Request Medicare fraud educational materials from your state SMP for distribution to your residents. Use local agencies like Social Security, Postal Inspector, law enforcements, and the Senior Medicare Patrol to make presentations on fraud and scams. 9

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