2017 has brought in one of the largest scams for Medicare applicants in history. Your finances are one of the most important areas of your life, and it’s important that you protected your retirement nest egg from people who would like to steal your hard earned money. It’s important that you’re vigilant about the various scams that are floating around and could give you hours and hours of headaches.
Through the years, there have been countless of scams that have target seniors, everything from posing as family members to posing as Medicare workers. There are hundreds of thousands of people that have lost their money to people who are looking to scam seniors. While there have been some devastating fraudulent schemes in the past, the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration says that this is one of the pervasion and harmful scams to date.
The new scam is that you’ll get a telephone call from someone that is in the United States or India, and they claim that you have tons of taxes that haven’t been paid and that you will be arrested if those taxes are not paid immediately. These scammers are hoping that you’ll be scared enough to pay the taxes without doing the research. Obviously, there are no taxes that you owe, and you would never receive any threat over the phone.
If you were to owe taxes, you would receive an official letter stating the amount that you owe and the consequences of what would happen if you didn’t pay those bills. While it may seem odd that anyone would fall for an obvious scam, the threat of going to jail or being arrested can be a scary thought, especially for someone who has little experience with taxes.
Taxes are one area where few Americans understand the workings, and there is a lot of confusion about unpaid taxes and what can happen if the IRS catches up with you. Because most people don’t understand taxes, it has been a productive scam. There are around 200 people that fall for the scam every week, with at least 1.97 million people being called.
Fighting Back Against Scammers
We’ve heard countless stories of senior citizens that have fallen victim to scammers. Because of these frauds, they have lost their life savings and have had their retirement nest eggs drained. Luckily, there are several ways that you can protect yourself from these scammers.
One way is to report any possible scams that you come in contact with. There has been a special hotline created by the Senate Special Committee on Aging, 1-855-303-9470. The most recent scan caused more than 1,6000 people to contact the hotline, which is more than twice that any other fraudulent scheme has received.
A report by the Federal Trade Commission showed that anyone over the age of 60 is much more likely be targeted by scammers, which means they should be more aware of any strange calls, emails, or letters that they receive. A lot of these scams revolve around technology, health care, or Medicare.
Some of the other common scams that seniors have fallen victim to are sweepstakes scams, which call to tell a senior that they have won a financial prize or cruise, and all that they need to claim the price is a holding fee, and to do that, they will need credit card information.
Seniors also complain of being contacted by fake “technology companies” that convince seniors to allow them remote access to their computers to fix some made up problem. Once the scammers have access to the computer, they can steal personal information that’s stored on the computer. You should never allow anyone to have access to your computer, especially someone over the phone.
Another scam that has gained recent media attention are scams that involve the senior’s family members. You might receive a call that says one of your children or grandchildren are in trouble, maybe in jail or need help overseas, and if you want to help them, you should send more electronically. If you get one of these calls, you should hang up the phone and call the person that is supposedly “in trouble.” You should never send the money before you contact someone that also knows the person and could give some confirmation.
If you ever receive a phone call from someone claiming to work for the IRS or with Medicare, you should automatically know that it’s a fraud. You’ll never be contacted by the IRS or Medicare by phone. If they need to contact you for any reason, they will send you an official letter. You should never give out any personal information over the phone or to someone that you don’t know.
At MedicareWallet.com, we are dedicated to helping you protect your money and your savings. We know that thousands of scammers want nothing more than to take your savings, but that’s why we are here. We want to give you the resources and information that you need to protect yourself and your loved ones.
MedicareWallet.com is an unbiased, online resource for individuals turning 65 or already on Medicare. Our utmost goal is to provide information in a way that is user-focused, informative and ethical. With a combined 40 years of experience in the Medicare market, we can answer any questions about Medicare and Medigap insurance. Feel free to reach out to us at 800.376.0824 or by email at[email protected].