31 Dec A New Year’s Resolution to Stop Senior Scams
Dr. Sherry McCoy PhD
is a freelance writer & actor for the Stop Senior Scams Acting Program (SSSAP) in Los Angeles. Follow SSSAP on Facebook . For more info re: SSSAP, contact Adrienne Omansky at SSSAP4U@gmail.com. Questions for the writer should be directed to “Dear Sherry” at Not Born Yesterday! P.O. Box 722, Brea, CA 92822 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
A New Year’s Resolution to Stop Senior Scams
Dr. Sherry McCoy, PhD – Stop Senior Scams ℠ Acting Program*
Happy New Year! Believe it or not, 2020 has arrived. Not only are we at the beginning of a new year, we are beginning a new decade. So now seems like an excellent time to take stock of things, to expand our awareness of what really matters. For one thing, I think we can all agree that as seniors, we are all targets and potential victims of scams. No one deserves to be scammed out of their hard earned and well deserved retirement. Together, we must take steps to raise our consciousness about scams that target seniors. Together, we can choose to make a New Year’s Resolution to Stop Senior Scams!
In 2019, the Stop Senior Scams Acting Program (SSSAP) presented over thirty programs to seniors in different venues around Southern California. According to California’s Senior Medicare Patrol at California Health Advocates (a non-profit organization “dedicated to Medicare advocacy and education for Californians,” www.cahealthadvocates.org), $60-90 billion is lost each year to Medicare fraud. Not surprisingly, many of the seniors we met reported that they had been the victim of Medicare fraud. In our travels around Southern California, SSSAP also encountered many seniors who had experienced some of the same scams that are mentioned in the U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging’s Fraud Report for 2018, discussed below. So, in this New Year of 2020, we invite you to join the resistance to stop senior scams. SSSAP is actively seeking to recruit ambassadors and actors for our program. Please visit the Stop Senior Scams Acting Program’s Facebook page and join our mission.
U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging
In a report from the U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging¹, Senators Susan M. Collins (Chairman) and Robert P. Casey, Jr. (Ranking Member) state that “It is estimated that older Americans lose a staggering $2.9 billion a year to an ever-growing array of financial exploitation schemes and scams.” That’s quite a disturbing picture, especially when you take into consideration the fact that scams are notoriously underreported. The likelihood is great that the amount of money seniors lose to scammers on a yearly basis is far greater than $2.9 billion. Based on the findings of more than 1,500 callers who contacted the Committee’s toll-free Fraud Hotline (1-855-303-9470) to report scams in 2018, here are the top 10 most-reported scams.
- IRS Impersonation Scam*
- Robocalls / Unsolicited Phone Calls
- Sweepstakes Scam / Jamaican Lottery Scam*
- Computer Tech Support Scams*
- Elder Financial Abuse*
- Grandparent Scams
- Romance Scams*
- Social Security Impersonation Scams
- Impending Lawsuit Scams
- Identity Theft
*As a point of interest, the Committee report found these to be the top 5 most-reported scams in California.
To find out more about the important work of the U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging, visit their website at https://www.aging.senate.gov/. And please utilize the Committee’s Fraud Hotline, 1-855-303-9470, to report scams. If you have questions about Medicare fraud / abuse, or believe you have been the victim of Medicare fraud contact the Senior Medicare Patrol (SMP*) at 1-855-613-7080. If you feel you have been the target or victim of a scam, report it to the Federal Trade Commission at 877-382-4357 or https://www.ftccomplaintassistant.gov/#crnt&panel1-1.
HAPPY NEW YEAR! — Remember: You may be a target, but you don’t have to be a victim!
*Dr. Sherry McCoy, PhD is a freelance writer & actor for the Stop Senior Scams ℠ Acting Program (SSSAP) in Los Angeles. SSSAP performs (free): 2 pm, January 23, 2020, Veterans Senior Residence in WLA. Follow SSSAP on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/SSSAP2016/?fref=ts. For more info re: SSSAP, contact Adrienne Omansky at SSSAP4U@gmail.com. Questions for the writer should be directed to “Dear Sherry” at Not Born Yesterday! P.O. Box 722, Brea, CA 92822 or email@example.com.