31 Mar Coronavirus Scams and SSSAP Updates
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.
“Coronavirus Scams and SSSAP Updates”
*Dr. Sherry McCoy, PhD – Stop Senior Scams ℠ Acting Program
It’s now April 2020, and I think it’s safe to say that the most pressing concern we share as a society is how best to protect ourselves and our loved ones from the Coronavirus. And because a pandemic tends to bring out the best AND the worst in us, it’s imperative that we stay conscious and aware of the many Coronavirus scams that are being perpetrated by con artists around the world. All of these fraudulent schemes have one theme in common — it plays into our fears about this virus. When we’re fearful, we’re not thinking straight. And when we’re not thinking straight, we’re more likely to take actions that are not in our best interests. So, remember to stay informed. Knowledge is power. Here are some of the latest Coronavirus scams.
- Beware of price-gouging of items in high demand during a pandemic.¹
- Be on the lookout for fake cures, fraudulent charities, counterfeit products, phishing emails.²
- Beware of fake websites that purport up-to-date info re virus – “A website mimicking the legitimate Johns Hopkins University site, which is used to track coronavirus cases worldwide, is being spread across the internet.”³
The FTC recommends you follow these tips to protect yourself against Coronavirus fraudulent schemes. https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/features/coronavirus-scams-what-ftc-doing. Also, please take note that Medicare now covers Coronavirus testing (https://www.medicare.gov/blog/medicare-now-covers-coronavirus-testing). However, the likelihood is great that in the days to come, con artists will develop creative ways of trying to cash-in on our Medicare benefits. So, keep a watchful eye on your Medicare account. And finally, the latest updates on the Coronavirus can be found at Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO).
SSSAP ON HIATUS / UPCOMING PODCASTS — Because of health concerns surrounding the Coronavirus, SSSAP is on hiatus from performing in public venues. We look forward to the day when we can be out on the road again and seeing everyone face-to-face. In the meantime, however, we are working behind the scenes to develop podcasts about scams that target seniors. Expect to be “hearing” from us – quite literally – in the near future!
KUDOS TO OUR SSSAP EDUCATORS
Eva Greene is an attorney, retired L.A. Public defender, LA County DPSS Social worker, community educator and actor. She has been a part of SSSAP for ten years!
Ann M. Stahl is an Adjunct Professor in the Family and Consumer Sciences Department of
California State University-Northridge, where she teaches courses in Consumer Protection and
Consumer Education. After 44 years of service with FTC, she recently retired as a Senior Investigator with the Federal Trade Commission’s Western Regional Office, Los Angeles. Ann Stahl is a welcome addition to SSSAP!
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. And then — Pass It On! In addition, please utilize the U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging’s Fraud Hotline at 1-855-303-9470 to report scams. Contact the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office online at http://da.lacounty.gov// or phone (213) 974-3512.
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. For more information, please contact Adrienne Omansky at SSSAP4U@gmail.com. Follow SSSAP on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/SSSAP2016/?fref=ts. 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.