In times of uncertainty, anxiety and crisis, it is a sad truth that fraudsters ramp up their efforts. But we are on to them. Federal and state governments are not only ramping up virus surveillance, they are on the look-out for those that would take advantage of the situation. Here are some examples to watch out for:
- Web links to supposedly helpful information about COVID-19 that install malicious code or lead to a scam site.
- Phone calls from persons pretending to be from the CDC, state or local health departments, Medicare, Medicaid or health providers.
- Advertisements for fraudulent products that claim to treat or prevent COVID-19.
- Requests for financial assistance or charitable donations for persons affected by COVID-19.
- Hackers seeking to disrupt video-conferences and work-from-home scenarios.
Hoosiers are urged to be on alert for phishing scams or fraudulent emails, especially those pretending to be from the CDC or offering testing or vaccination, and verify that any charity seeking your assistance is legitimate before donating. Consumers who believe they may have been the victim of a scam can contact or file a complaint with the Indiana Attorney General’s Office.
For up-to-the-minute information on COVID-19 in Indiana, bookmark and subscribe to this web site maintained by the Indiana State Department of Health: www.in.gov/coronavirus/
On Tuesday, March 3, 2020, U.S. Attorney General William P. Barr addressed attendees of the Keeping Seniors Safe summit and announced the launch of the National Elder Fraud Hotline. This toll free call center helps combat fraud against older Americans and provides support for victims who have been robbed of their hard-earned savings.
Financial scams and abuses that target older people are on the rise. Fraud and romance scams aimed at older adults resulted in losses of more than $184 million in 2018. Many crimes go unreported because victims are scared, embarrassed or don’t know who to call. That’s why the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), Office for Victims of Crime created this hotline. It’s for people to report fraud against anyone age 60 or older.
The National Elder Fraud Hotline is staffed by caring professionals who can provide personalized support to callers. Use this call center to–
- report incidences of fraud;
- obtain a case manager who will help you through the reporting process at the federal, state, and local levels; and
- connect with other helpful resources on a case-by-case basis.
If you or someone you know has been a victim of elder fraud, call 833-FRAUD-11 (833-372-8311) to receive help from a hotline case manager. The hotline is staffed every day, 6:00 a.m. – 11:00 p.m. eastern time. Hotline staff speak English, Español, and other languages.
Visit the National Elder Fraud Hotline website.