By Rick Banas of BMA Management, Ltd.
The call came just in the nick of time to save a grandmother in Springfield, Illinois from what has become known as the Grandparents Scam, said Erin Ruebbelke, Policy Advisor with the Illinois Attorney General’s Office.
She was conducting a program earlier this week at the Heritage Woods of Manteno affordable assisted living community that we manage in Manteno, Illinois, to help educate older adults and their families on frauds and scams that target older adults. The Silver Beat program was developed by Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan’s Office.
The grandmother, Erin said, had received a phone call in the middle of the night from someone posing as her grandson. “Grandma”, the caller said, “I’ve been arrested on a DUI. Please don’t tell Mom or Dad. I can get out if you just wire $3,000.”
The grandmother was standing at Western Union with the cash in hand when her grandson just happened to call. He let her know that he was okay and not in jail in Canada.
The calls usually come in the middle of the night, and the caller usually will ask for Grandma. The scam artists claim to be attorneys, paralegals and law enforcement officers as well as frantic grandchildren.
The Grandparents Scam is the #1 Scam going on right now, Erin noted. Especially be careful this time of year, as calls often come around Spring Break.
Medicare scams also are popular, Erin noted. Beware of callers who claim to need personal information such as Medicare numbers or bank account information to activate new Medicare benefits and folks offering free scooters in exchange for your Medicare number.
A great way to help protect yourself against Medicare fraud is to be sure your review your quarterly Medicare Summary Notices (MSN).
Among the other topics covered in the program were Reverse Mortgages, Credit Cards and Credit Reports.
May be beneficial, especially if you have built up equity in your home and are struggling to pay bills. To be eligible, you must be 62 years of age or older and own your home. The home must be your primary place of residency, and you must get counseling from a HUD-certified counselor.
With the Credit Cardholders Bill of Rights, credit card companies have to send your statement a minimum of 21 days in advance of the payment due date and have to send you a notice of changes 45 days in advance.
You need to keep a close eye on your Credit Report. It is the #1 way to protect yourself from Identity Theft.
Free Credit Reports are available from the following three Credit Reporting Agencies:
Much more information about how to protect yourself or a loved one from fraud and scams targeting older adults can be obtained by visiting the Silver Beat website.
We also invite you to attend the Silver Beat training program on March 10 at our Heritage Woods of Chicago affordable assisted living community and on March 29 at our Heritage Woods of Watseka affordable assisted living community.
What are your thoughts? Leave a comment and let us know.
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and one of the 20 largest providers of assisted living in the United States.”