02 Aug Test Your Fraud Awareness
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 email@example.com.
“Test Your Fraud Awareness”
Dr. Sherry McCoy, PhD – Stop Senior Scams Acting Program
Hello August! We’re in the thick of summer now. I don’t know about you, but for me, it’s time to chill out with a large glass of iced tea or lemonade, kick-back, and maybe read a good book or two. It’s also the perfect time to reflect on just how much our awareness has grown about the fraudulent schemes that target seniors, and what strategies we can employ to protect ourselves. It is mind boggling, but it seems like there’s a new scam every day! The scammers are out in full force, so let’s get cracking. Here’s a short pop quiz to help us expand our knowledge about senior scams. Take the test and then share with friends and family to compare notes. Together we can Stop Senior Scams!
FRAUD AWARENESS QUESTIONNAIRE¹
- You receive a letter in the mail that says you’ve won a prize of $10,000! All you have to do is send them $600 in processing fees to collect your prize. What should you do?
- Send them a check for $600 right away. b. If the prize is from a foreign lottery, notify your local postmaster. c. Tell friends and family about your good fortune and start taking them out for extravagant dinners to celebrate.
- If the prize does not involve a foreign lottery, report it to the Federal Trade Commission. e. None of the above.
- Red flags that your new cyber sweetheart might be a scammer are:
- Declares he or she has “fallen in love with you” too quickly. b. Uses language that doesn’t seem to fit their supposed identity — “scammer grammar.” c. Claims a hard-luck story and needs you to send cash right away. d. All of the above.
- None of the above.
- If a uniformed utility employee appears at your door to conduct an unscheduled inspection, shows a badge and ID, it’s safe to invite him in. TRUE or FALSE
- Foreign lotteries are illegal in the U.S. TRUE or FALSE
- The only proven way to protect yourself from telemarketing fraud is to hang up. TRUE or FALSE
- You receive an unsolicited text message that your email account has been compromised and shut down to protect your account from further unauthorized activity. The text message instructs you to send a text back to regain access to your account. What do you do?
- Send a text back and provide pertinent info needed to re-open your account. b. Do not reply to unauthorized text message. c. Report unsolicited text message to your service carrier. d. None of the above.
- You should always carry your Social Security card with you. TRUE or FALSE
- Television and newspaper ads offering a back brace free of charge to Medicare beneficiaries are completely legitimate. TRUE or FALSE
- b and d 2. d 3. FALSE 4. TRUE 5. TRUE 6. b and c 7. FALSE 8. FALSE
¹ This questionnaire was inspired by Jonathan Cristall, Supervisor with the LA City Attorney’s Office. TRUE and FALSE questions come from “CASE PARTNERSHIP – Power Against Fraud,” LA City Attorney Mike Feuer’s Office, the San Joaquin County District Attorney’s Office and The Community to Prevent Elder Financial Exploitation.
If you believe you have been the victim or the target of any scam, please report it to the Federal Trade Commission at 877-382-4357 or online at https://www.ftccomplaintassistant.gov/#crnt&panel1-1. And then — Pass It On! If you have questions about Medicare fraud / abuse, or believe you have been the victim of Medicare fraud please contact the Senior Medicare Patrol (SMP) at 1-855-613-7080. For more info regarding California SMP, go to www.cahealthadvocates.org.
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. Save the Date – SSSAP performs (free): April 9, 9:45-11:30 am, Our Lady of Lourdes, Stroup Hall, 18400 Kinzie Street, Northridge, CA 91325. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.