Jul 24, 2017
Beware of scams. The Michigan Medicare Medicaid Assistance program (MMAP) would like to remind the public to protect themselves against Medicare fraud and scams. Between 3% and 10% of health care spending is lost to fraud. Fraud cost taxpayers between 30 billion and 50 billion dollars each year. Scams could be even more costly to the individual because there are scams that could drain an individual’s bank account.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of the Inspector General recently confirmed that that the Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of Inspector General (OIG) hotline number is being used as part of a telephone spoofing scam targeting individuals throughout the country. The perpetrator may use various tactics to obtain or verify the victim’s personal information, which can then be used to steal money from an individual’s bank account or for other fraudulent activity.
MMAP encourages individuals not to answer calls from 1-800-HHS-TIPS (1-800-447-8477). People are also encouraged to always protect themselves by not providing personal information over the phone including social security number, date of birth, credit card information, driver’s license number, bank account information, and mother’s maiden name. Do not verify your name or any other personal information when speaking on the phone to unknown individuals.
If you do feel you are a victim of the telephone spoofing scam, contact the HHS OIG hotline or file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission. When filing a complaint always include the date and time you received a scam call and any other details about that call.
MMAP is Michigan’s State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP), and Senior Medicare Patrol (SMP). MMAP provides unbiased free health benefits counseling assistance across Michigan. MMAP can be contacted at 1-800-803-7174.
Remember: Most cases of elder abuse go undetected. Don’t assume that someone has already reported a suspicious situation. To report suspected abuse in the community, contact your local adult protective services agency.
STATE ELDER LOCATOR
If you or someone you know is in a life threatening situation or immediate danger, contact 911 or the local police or sheriff.
To report suspected abuse in a nursing home or long-term care facility, call
275 W. Clay Ave., Suite 100
Muskegon, Michigan 49440
Monday - Friday:
7:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
The SafeSeniors collaborative works to identify, advocate, and seek justice for adult victims of abuse, neglect, and financial exploitation within the Muskegon, Ottawa and Oceana counties of Michigan.
You can report any known or possible abuse at any time by calling the 24-hour hotline at 1-855-444-3911.
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