Be wary of those who would try to benefit from confusion around health care reform
Probable scam uses health care reform to get access to victims' bank accounts
July 11, 2012
The Ohio Department of Aging has been made aware of a possible scam attempting to cash in on confusion around the federal health care law. We know of at least one instance of a person contacting an older woman and claiming that she would be receiving $1,000 for "Obama Care." The caller claimed all the woman had to do to receive this benefit was to provide her checking account number and the last four digits of her Social Security number over the telephone. The woman was justifiably suspicious and refused to provide the information.
Thieves trying to capitalize on current events has unfortunately become rather commonplace. In fact, on the very day of the Supreme Court's ruling on the law, MSNBC predicted that scams would quickly surface. Very often, criminals target older adults, mainly because they tend to have limited incomes and be somewhat isolated, making them more receptive to offers of easy money and less likely to have a close support structure to help them avoid being victimized. Studies also have shown that older adults tend to be more trusting than their younger counterparts.
To protect yourself from scams like these, please remember that no legitimate representative of state or federal governments will request personal information like Social Security and bank account numbers over the telephone or via e-mail, and you should always refuse such requests. The Ohio Attorney General's Office says an offer may not be legitimate if it:
- Requests personal information;
- Pressures you to act now;
- Claims you won a contest you didn't enter or are due a benefit you didn't seek; or
- Asks that you send money in order to receive money.
You can learn more about and even report these and other scams by calling the AG's consumer help line at 1-800-282-0515 or visiting www.OhioAttorneyGeneral.gov.
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About Aging News and Perspective
Aging News and Perspective, published by the Ohio Department of Aging, is a blog-like publication that connects interested Ohioans to news and information about issues affecting older Ohioans and the people who care for and serve them. Topics include the latest resources and best pactices within the aging network, state and federal programs and benefits, pending and recent policy and legislation that may impact older Ohioans, the latest research in gerontology and aging issues and more.
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