Scammers Emboldened; Seniors Are Target

by Matilda Charles


The U.S. Senate has a Special Committee on Aging, as well as an Aging

Fraud Hotline. While it handles any type of complaint about fraud against

a senior, it’s been especially busy lately because of Obamacare, also

known as Affordable Care Act. The scammers are out there, and they’re

targeting seniors.


The committee’s new press release lists some tricks scammers might use to

cheat you:

* If you have Medicare, you don’t need to buy Obamacare, period. If

someone tries to sell you a policy knowing you receive Medicare, it’s



* The scammers will try to get you to disclose personal information, such

as your Medicare or Social Security number, or your bank account number.

With even some of that information, your identity can be compromised and

your savings stolen.


* Scammers can show up at your door, or might phone you or send you email.

They might pretend to just verify information, hoping you’ll correct them

with the right information.


* Hang up on anyone who calls and says they’re from Social Security or

Medicare. They will never call you, unless you’ve made arrangements with

them in advance.


* Medicare open enrollment ended on Dec. 7, but scammers likely will say

that “something” went wrong with your enrollment information, and they

need to get it again from you.


The Aging Fraud Hotline can help with any number of issues related to

fraud against seniors: identity theft, Medicare, retirement savings, phone

scams, Social Security and more. If you need to file a complaint, call it

toll-free at 1-855-303-9470. There’s also a mail form on its website at Click on the Contact link and fill in the blanks.

To contact Medicare, call 1-800-MEDICARE.


To report identity theft, call the Federal Trade Commission at 1-877-438-

4338 or go online to


Matilda Charles regrets that she cannot personally answer reader

questions, but will incorporate them into her column whenever possible.


Send email to

(c) 2013 King Features Synd., Inc.

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