March has been named fraud prevention month, with this week chosen as National Consumer Protection Week, by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission.
Providing seniors with practical information to keep them from becoming victims of fraud is part of the mission of Care Connection for Aging Services.
CCAS has a mission to “provide resources and services which empower people to create healthy aging experiences.”
The 2018 Consumer Sentinel Data Book identifies imposter scams, debt collection and identity theft as the top security issues reported to federal officials.
Care Connection operates the Missouri Senior Medicare Patrol to make sure seniors are kept aware of the latest medicare scams. Medicare fraud costs the government and consumers an estimated $6.8 million each hour.
Rona McNally, Care Connection’s director of special projects, directs the statewide SMP program. SMP consists of a network of volunteers trained to help seniors prevent, detect and protect against fraud, especially medicare fraud.
While the main focus is on medicare fraud, Care Connection’s senior advocates also want to make consumers aware of the many other ways in which scammers are trying to steal from bank accounts and credit card accounts, as well as to trick consumers into giving them private information. SMP operates a hotline at 1 (888) 515-6565 for seniors to report suspected medicare fraud; and NCPW.gov is a free website to help consumers spot, stop and report scams. The site hosts a network of more than 200 federal, state and local partners devoted to protecting consumers. The site’s free tools and resources help consumers understand rights and make better-informed decisions about money, according to the FTC.
Care Connection for Aging Services, a non-profit area agency on aging, serves west central Missouri with 23 locations in 13 counties including Cedar. For more information, call 1 (800) 748-7826 or email us at [email protected].