SafeSeniors is a collaborative of community partners, law enforcement, and the prosecutors offices working together to identify, advocate, and seek justice for older adult victims of abuse, neglect, and financial exploitation. Find out more at safeseniors.info. SafeSeniors pocket card
The Better Business Bureau also tracks scams: https://www.bbb.org/scamtracker.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of the Inspector General recently confirmed that the Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of Inspector General (OIG) hotline number is being used as part of a telephone spoofing scam targeting individuals throughout the country. The perpetrator may use various tactics to obtain or verify the victim’s personal information, which can then be used to steal money from an individual’s bank account or for other fraudulent activity.
MMAP encourages individuals not to answer calls from 1-800-HHS-TIPS (1-800-447-8477). People are also encouraged to always protect themselves by not providing personal information over the phone including social security number, date of birth, credit card information, driver’s license number, bank account information, and mother’s maiden name. Do not verify your name or any other personal information when speaking on the phone to unknown individuals.
If you do feel you are a victim of the telephone spoofing scam, contact the HHS OIG hotline or file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission. When filing a complaint always include the date and time you received a scam call and any other details about that call.
MMAP provides unbiased free health benefits counseling assistance across Michigan. MMAP can be contacted at 1-800-803-7174. You can also call Medicare @ 1-800-633-4227, or the Office of Inspector General Fraud Hotline @ 1-800-447-8477.
1. Government Scams: The imposter will pretend to be a government agency like the IRS, Medicare, or Social Security Administration. They may give you an official sounding case number or badge ID number. The caller ID may even show the name of the agency. No government agency will ever call you, text you, or email you out of the blue and ask for personal information over the phone or in an email or text. SafeSeniors Imposter Scams Card – Government-Financial
2. Sweetheart Scam: Due to being lonely or seeking companionship, you become involved with an individual you have never met face to face. After some time, this individual wishes to meet with you and asks for money to arrange the meet, or they ask for money to pay for medical or other bills due to their being in a negative financial situation. If you do not know them personally and for a very long period of time, they could just be wishing to extort money from you. SafeSeniors Imposter Scams Card – Romance
3. Financial Institution scams: An imposter will pretend to be from your bank or another financial institution. They may give you an official sounding case number or seem to know about your accounts. The caller ID may even show the name of the financial institution. They may try to make you feel anxious that something is wrong with your accounts. SafeSeniors Imposter Scams Card – Government-Financial
4. Family member in need: A family member or close friend supposedly is in desperate need of funds due to a medical need, financial need, or legal reason. They state that they need you to send funds to them immediately or else terrible things will happen. Verify who, what, when, where, and why this is occurring and where the funds are intended to go. Contact the receiver of the funds from a direct phone number you find, and verify the need for the funds. It is most likely a scam due to the urgency of the request. See Grandparent Scam. SafeSeniors Imposter Scams Card – Grandchild-Friend
IMMEDIATELY CONTACT THE POLICE IF YOU FEEL THERE IS IMMEDIATE THREAT TO YOUR WELL-BEING