We’ve written about this before, but believe that you can never have too much information when it comes to scams targeting seniors.
A new scam has been identified by Connecticut officials. Many Connecticut residents have received a leaflet in the mail with the heading “Connecticut Resident Health and Wellness Benefits Notice.” The mailer offers subsidies for a knee or neck brace, hearing aid, diabetes testing and Medicare benefits GAP Coverage and requests that you call a number “for details and qualification.”
The problem starts when callers are asked for personal information, including their Medicare or Social Security Number and contact details for their physician.
“Although the telephone numbers have been taken out of circulation, this scam serves as a reminder to consumers to be wary of any unsolicited document that requires giving out personal information over the telephone, at your front door or by email or text,” Department of Consumer Protection (DCP) Commissioner Jonathan A. Harris said. “An official looking seal can be easily copied and used by scammers to mislead consumers.”
If you or anyone you know has received this mailer, you are asked to report it to the (DCP) at 860-713-6300 or toll free at 1-800-842-2649, in addition to reporting the incident through Connecticut BBB’s Scam Tracker.
Protection against scams targeting seniors
The Better Business Bureau (BBB) and the DCP say offers should be considered fraudulent if:
- It asks for a Medicare number in exchange for equipment, services or discounts on lab tests
- It uses pressure or scare tactics to sell expensive materials
- It offers non-medical services as Medicare-approved expenditures
To protect yourself, follow these guidelines:
- Do not give away personal information, including your Medicare number, to door-to-door sales people, callers, or as a follow up to a mailed or emailed solicitation
- Do not call numbers listed on mail solicitations, or left on voicemails that tell you to call back at risk of a penalty
- Never be afraid to say “no”
And as a reminder, the IRS will never call you over the phone and demand a payment or threaten arrest if you do not pay.
Scams targeting seniors are real. Please share any “fishy” offers you receive with family or friends. Also, Assisted Living Services is available to guide you through any suspicious offers. Call us at 203-634-8668.