In this week’s episode of Medicare Nation, Diane Daniels interviews Curtis Bailey, who is a practicing Elder Law attorney in the St. Louis, Missouri area. Curtis is also the co-director of the Senior Scam Action Associates and co-host of the ScammerCast Podcast.During this episode, Diane talks with Curtis about one of her biggest pet peeves: people taking advantage of seniors. If you know someone who has fallen victim to a phone scam, Facebook scam, or had his or her identity stolen, then this episode is a must-listen!
Main Questions Asked:
- How did you get so involved in helping the elderly with scams?
- Tell us about Senior Scam Action Associates.
- What are the most common types of scams?
- What happens if someone realizes they have been scammed and their personal information has been stolen?
- What are the credit bureau companies a person can contact?
- What are signs of a scam?
- How do we know what is a legitimate email?
- Tell us about your podcast, ScammerCast.
Key Lessons Learned:
- Phone scams
- E-mail scams
- Facebook friend requests
- Physical, “in person” scams
- Senior Scam Action Associates helps seniors, caregivers, and professionals who work with seniors learn how to recognize and prevent scams and fraud.
Common Types of Medicare Scams
- Unsolicited telephone call from someone claiming to be a Medicare sales representative.
- A physical scam whereby an alleged ‘official’ agent knocks on the senior’s door.
- A true Medicare representative will never show up at your door. They will never ask you for money or personal information.
- Check Medicare statements each month and look at itemized details for each doctor visit and different types of tests and procedures. If you find a discrepancy, contact your insurance carrier or contact Medicare directly as it could be fraud or abuse.
If A Senior Has Been Scammed
- Report any scams to the authorities such as local law enforcement and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).
- If personal identifying information has been given out, check your credit report immediately.
- Contact any corresponding banks and financial institutions to report your identity theft.
Credit Bureau Companies
- The three main credit-checking bureaus are Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax.
- If a consumer contacts one bureau, the other two must be notified about any possible breeches.
- Even if you haven’t fallen victim to a scam, it’s a good idea to get a free annual credit report.
- Curtis recommends requesting a free credit report every 4-months. Ex: Request one free credit report from Equifax in January, then Experian in May and finally Trans Union in September.
- Credit reports are free, but each company is allowed to charge for additional requests such as a credit score.
Giveaways of a Scam
- The contact will always be unsolicited.
- There will always be urgency involved, and they prey on fear, greed, and anger.
- They will ask for personal identifying information.
Tips to Avoid Scams
- If you are unsure whether an email is a scam, then make it a rule to not click on a link.
- If you are getting requests that look official but are unsure, follow up through official avenues such as visiting or calling the bank direct.
- Be aware of friend requests on Facebook from people you haven’t had contact with for a long time.
Thank you for listening! If you enjoyed this podcast, please subscribe and leave a 5 star rating and review in iTunes! (Click here)
For more information about Medicare, go to Diane Daniels website www.callsamm.com
Links to Resources Mentioned
Senior Scam Action Associates
Huffman Law Offices
Scammed: 3 Steps to Help Your Elder Parents and Yourself
Annual Credit Report
Medicare Website www.Medicare.gov
Federal Trade Commission www.ftc.gov
Trans Union www.transunion.com