According to elder care advocates and law enforcement agencies, there is a troubling increase in the number of health insurance scams aimed at seniors.
While the latest scam is actually a classic one – stealing personal information to perpetuate identity theft – the details have been updated in light of the recent news about healthcare changes. A senior may receive a telephone call from someone who states that he or she is updating personal and contact information for a state or federal program such as Medicare or Medicaid, or for a private health insurance company. Some callers may reference new health care laws under the Affordable Care Act. The caller may ask for some or all of the following; mailing address, bank account routing numbers, social security numbers and/or date of birth.
None of this information should be given to someone you do not know or to someone over the phone whom you did not contact. If you receive one of these calls, simply hang up the phone.
If you have been the victim of one of these calls and have given out personal information, know that you are not alone. Law enforcement agencies across the U.S. are reporting that many people have also given out their information. Your first order of business should be to check your bank statement to see if anyone has drawn money from your account, and have a credit report run to ensure no one has taken out credit cards in your name.
Christopher J. Berry is an elder law attorney Dedicated to helping seniors, veterans and their families navigate the long-term care maze. To learn more visit http://www.michiganelderlawattorney.com/ or call 248.481.4000