Email Michael Email
Insightful Discussions
Sep 29, 2021

Tips from AARP Fraud Watch Network to Help You Steer Clear from Scams

Sponsored Content provided by Michael Olender - State Director, AARP North Carolina

To help protect yourself and your hard-earned money and savings from fraud and scams, the AARP Fraud Watch Network provides tips each month to help you spot and avoid the most common swindles. As the weather starts to cool off, don’t be left in the cold by a scam. Here is some good advice to help keep you safe.
 
Beware of Becky from Medicare
For the past few months, thousands of robocalls have been hitting U.S. phone lines claiming to be “Becky, from Medicare.” And trust us, this is a conversation you’ll want to skip. 

A target will receive a prerecorded call from “Becky from Medicare” and is asked to press 1 to talk to a representative to learn about free genetic testing.

For those who interact with Becky (or one of her friendly colleagues), she’ll claim they are eligible for genetic testing to screen for diseases that Medicare will pay for. They will ask for the target’s Medicare number and mailing address to send a test kit with instructions.
 
This is a scam, pure and simple. All these crooks want is your Medicare number so they can bill Medicare for tests, devices – whatever their flavor of the day. These fraudulent charges cost Medicare billions each year.
 
To protect yourself – and save taxpayer dollars - only share your Medicare number with trusted health care providers; calls out of the blue for free resources from Medicare are scams – full stop.
 
Smart Homes Need Smart Security
Smart homes can bring all of our systems, devices and even appliances online. If this is a route you’re taking, know that smart homes need smart security.   

When setting up a new device, be sure to adjust the privacy and security settings. For any device that has a default password, change it, and do so again periodically. All of your passwords should be unique and complex. Avoid connecting your email or calendar to smart home devices, along with any other apps that store sensitive information. Also, set up each device so that any new software update uploads automatically. Updates often contain patches to protect against newly discovered vulnerabilities.  
 
Medicare Open Enrollment Scams
 
It’s open enrollment season, which also means it’s Medicare fraud season. Eligible beneficiaries have until December 7 to shop for the best deal for their health care dollar. Unfortunately, some of the deals out there won’t be deals at all.
Just like in other years, Medicare scams spike during open enrollment season with scammers posing as insurance providers calling and emailing about free gifts or limited-time offers. These scams are designed to capture information to bill Medicare for bogus services and treatment.

Be suspicious of anyone who calls, emails or visits you promoting a Medicare plan. Legitimate health plans can only contact you if you’ve requested information. Don’t give personal information to anyone who calls or visits out of the blue and always review your Medicare summary notice or explanation of benefits statement for fraudulent charges.
Be a fraud fighter!  If you can spot a scam, you can stop a scam.

The AARP Fraud Watch Network is a free resource for all. Learn how to proactively spot scams or get guidance if you’ve been targeted. Visit www.aarp.org/fraudwatchnetwork or call our dedicated helpline to speak to a fraud specialist at 1-877-908-3360.
 
Michael Olender is the state director of AARP North Carolina. He was appointed this position after serving as Associate State Director for AARP in the Charlotte region and managing the work of AARP in communities across the state. Prior to North Carolina, Olender was the Associate State Director for AARP New York leading AARP’s work in Manhattan, the Bronx, Staten Island and the Lower Hudson Valley.

Prior to joining AARP in 2007 Mike worked as a community organizer in New Jersey on a variety of consumer issues including health care reform, affordable prescription drugs, utilities and other issues affecting New Jersey residents. A graduate from Rutgers University, Michael resides in Apex, North Carolina.

 
  
 
 
 

Aarpncbanner
Ico insights

INSIGHTS

SPONSORS' CONTENT
Tommytaylor ceo unitedway

Why UWCFA - Connecting to the Community

Tommy Taylor - United Way
Ubs chadpearson headshotresized

The Three Dimensions Of Selling Your Business

Chad Pearson - UBS Decision Point Wealth Consulting
Jasonpathfinder3

Finding Success in Succession Planning

Jason Wheeler - Pathfinder Wealth Consulting

Trending News

Affordable Housing Investors Buy Lakeside Villas In $29M Deal

Staff Reports - Jan 26, 2023

Work Continues On Covey, Envisioned As Midtown’s Neighborhood Nest

Miriah Hamrick - Jan 25, 2023

The Half Takes A Bite Out Of New Markets With Second Location

Miriah Hamrick - Jan 25, 2023

City To Begin Due Diligence On Potential Thermo Fisher Building Purchase

Johanna F. Still - Jan 25, 2023

Novant NHRMC Unveils Its Neurosciences Institute

Staff Reports - Jan 25, 2023

In The Current Issue

Chill Couple Grows Ice Cream Stores

Boombalatti’s Homemade Ice Cream became a local favorite when it first opened in The Forum on Military Cutoff Road in 1999. When Wes and Kri...


Facility Owner Puts His Chips On The Table

With more than 15 years of experience in the wood chip industry, Taner Basaga has maintained key relationships with loggers in the region. “...


Local, State Efforts Target Service Sector

Many industries have started to recover from the roiling effect the pandemic had on the labor market, but nearly three years after the first...

Book On Business

The 2023 WilmingtonBiz: Book on Business is an annual publication showcasing the Wilmington region as a center of business.

Order Your Copy Today!


Galleries

Videos

2022 Power Breakfast: Wilmington's Most Intriguing People - Spence Broadhurst & Hannah Gage
2022 Power Breakfast: Wilmington's Most Intriguing People - George Taylor
2022 Power Breakfast: Wilmington's Most Intriguing People - Mike Ford
2022 Power Breakfast: Wilmington's Most Intriguing People - Meaghan Dennison
2022 Power Breakfast: Wilmington's Most Intriguing People - Rhonda Bellamy