April 20, 2020
COVID-19 Stimulus Plan Check
Scams Have Arrived
This past week the government started to send out stimulus checks to Americans across the country. Scammers are well aware of this and are starting to move their focus to this Stimulus Package to commit their crimes.

These scammers already have created fake-check scams, phone calls and email phishing scams that aim to steal personal information from the consumers.

Please don't fall for any scams where callers pose as the IRS to confirm your information. There is no action needed! The IRS will direct deposit your check if you filed 2018 or 2019 taxes. The IRS will never call, text or email you. Physical checks will be sent out in May.

You can read the rest of the article from CNBC here.

If you or someone you know has received one of these calls or has been taken advantage by these kind of calls please contact the Illinois SMP at (800)699-9043.
FTC Warns Service Providers for Assisting
in Illegal COVID-19 RoboCalls
Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), is one the of the avenues scammers are using to commit fraud during this COVID-19 pandemic. VoIP calls are like regular phone calls but they're made over a broadband high speed Internet connection rather than over a regular telephone line. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) sent nine VoIP companies a letter that they needed to stop allowing I llegal telemarketing and robocalls related to the coronavirus or COVID-19 pandemic is against the law.

The scammers making these calls prey upon the fears of the consumers and beneficiaries. The letters warns these companies that they could be in violation of the FTC's Telemarketing Sales Rule (TSR).

The rules in the letters that could possibly be violations of the TSR are as followed:
  • making a false or misleading statement to induce a consumer to buy something or contribute to a charity;
  • misrepresenting a seller or telemarketer’s affiliation with any government agency;
  • transmitting false or deceptive caller ID numbers;
  • initiating pre-recorded telemarketing robocalls, unless the seller has express written permission to call; and
  • initiating telemarketing calls to consumers whose phone numbers are on the National Do Not Call Registry, with certain exceptions.

You can read the whole press release from the FTC here.

If you or someone you know has received one of these calls or has been taken advantage by these kind of calls please contact the Illinois SMP at (800)699-9043.
Join Us for Upcoming SMP and Census Presentations with Mather Lifeways
AgeOptions is partnering with Mathers Lifeways and their Telephone Topics program to bring engaging and interesting topics to older adults in the comfort of their own homes.
People can just call in! 
 
Highlights include:

  • Three SMP presentations on healthcare fraud in May, you can see the schedule here.

  • A 3-part Census series from April 27-29 that includes a call on Census Scams on April 29 at 11 am CT – See the April schedule here.

  • A Spanish only call on the Census on April 30 at 1 pm CT – Click here to share this flyer with your Spanish-speaking clients.

As older adults must stay indoors, Mather Lifeways Telephone Topics provides a great way for them to stay engaged and connected with others. Please share this with your clients. To learn more about Telephone Topics and see the full May schedule, click here.
Have a safe and healthy week.

Travis Trumitch
travis.trumitch@ageoptions.org
Please share this Fraud Alert with colleagues, consumers, or other professionals in your area. If you would like to sign up to receive the Fraud Alert directly, visit click here.

This project was supported, in part by grant number 90MPPG0036, from the U.S. Administration for Community Living, Department of Health and Human Services, Washington, D.C. 20201. Grantees undertaking projects under government sponsorship are encouraged to express freely their findings and conclusions. Points of view or opinions do not, therefore, necessarily represent official Administration for Community Living policy.
The Illinois SMP at AgeOptions partners with agencies across the state to empower and assist Medicare beneficiaries, their families, and caregivers to prevent, detect, and report health care fraud, errors, and abuse through outreach, counseling, and education.

Please share this Fraud Alert with colleagues, consumers, or other professionals in your area and visit our website to sign up for our Fraud Alert email list.