February 10, 2020
Department of Justice Announces Landmark Cases for Fraudulent Robocalls
The Department of Justice has filed two cases against five companies who placed millions of robocalls, also known as spam calls, to consumers across the United States.

These calls include spoof calls that showed up on caller ID as government agencies and businesses. This caused huge financial losses for vulnerable populations, such as older adults. The majority of these calls started aboard in countries such as India from call centers run by American companies. You can read the press release from the Department of Justice here.

Robocall complaints may be filed with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) at www.ftccomplaintassistant.gov or by calling (877)FTC-HELP.

If you or someone you know has experienced Medicare or health care fraud, do not hesitate to contact the Illinois SMP at AgeOptions at (800)699-9043.
IS the Census Knocking on My Door?
How to Identify a Census Worker
The decennial census is coming in mid-March, and every person living in America should be counted. The Census Bureau is currently hiring people to help collect responses, and this summer you may see them working in your community. Read more in the Census Bureau’s article “Census Takers in Your Neighborhood.” Of course, this means that there will be scammers too.

So how can you tell if a real Census worker is knocking on your door or calling you? Here are some tips to remember:

  • The Census Bureau will mail you first. In mid-March, you will receive a letter explaining how you can respond to the 2020 Census. The Census Bureau does not email you to complete the 2020 Census or any other survey.
  • Complete your Census early so there is no need for a worker to visit you. If you complete the 2020 Census early, the Bureau will not send someone to visit you.
  •  If someone visits or calls from the Census Bureau, they must identify themselves, and you can (and should) call the Bureau to verify. According to the Census Bureau, you can check that the worker has “a valid ID badge, with their photograph, a U.S. Department of Commerce watermark, and an expiration date. If you still have questions about their identity, you can call 800-923-8282 to speak with a local Census Bureau representative.” Also, any actual Census worker will leave information on how you can complete the 2020 Census on your own.

Every living person must complete the 2020 Census. At the same time, the Census Bureau continues to conduct surveys like the annual American Community Survey (ACS). You may be invited to also complete the ACS, but the above tips still apply: you will receive your invitation in the mail and you can call (800)923-8282 to verify the identity of a supposed Census worker.
Have a wonderful week!

Travis Trumitch
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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.