Watch Out For the "Felony
Illinois SMP Coordinator Erin Weir was a guest on the U.S. Postal
Inspection Service radio show "Don't Fall For It" this week,
discussing health care fraud in Illinois. During the show, U.S.
Postal Inspector in Charge Tom Brady warned the show's listeners
about a new telemarketing scam called the "felony free" scam. In
this scam, a caller says that s/he is calling from the federal
government to offer the person thousands of dollars for being
"felony free." The caller then asks for bank account/credit card
information in order to deposit the money.
This probably goes without saying, but the federal government is
NOT giving out money to people who have not committed felonies –
this is simply another ploy to obtain personal information and steal
from people. Another good reason to remind everyone you know to
NEVER give out any personal information to anyone who calls on the
phone for any reason!
CMS Warning About Tax Fraud and Identity Theft
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a
warning this week about a scam in which Medicare beneficiaries'
identities are being stolen and used to submit fraudulent tax
returns. It appears that individuals' information (name, Social
Security number, address, and date of birth) is being obtained from
employers, schools, hospitals, and prisons. This information is then
used to electronically file a tax return in the person's name, and
the tax refund is loaded onto a Green Dot prepaid debit card. The
victims generally do not realize that their information has been
stolen until they try to file their tax return.
If anyone believes they have been a victim of this scam, call the
Illinois SMP program at AgeOptions: (800)699-9043. We can help
consumers get in contact with the proper authorities to report it.