June 14, 2010
Jefferson City, Mo. - Attorney General Chris Koster is warning Missouri seniors to be aware of a variety of fraud schemes tied to the announcement of the first wave of $250 rebate checks for those who fall in the Medicare "donut hole."
As part of National Consumer Protection Week in March, Koster met with seniors across the state about the types of frauds and scams that are being perpetrated in Missouri and across the nation and how to identify and avoid them.
"Scam artists now see yet another opportunity to prey on seniors who receive this benefit, particularly with harassing phone calls," Koster said. "Unfortunately, seniors are often a target of scams, and we've made a special effort to educate older Missourians. Seniors need to be particularly watchful this summer of the different ways criminals will try to access personal information."
Koster reminded seniors not to give out their personal information. He said a common scam related to the $250 donut hole checks was for individuals to convince seniors that the rebate check needed to be transferred to a third party or used to cover specific prescription drug payments. Seniors also may be told they are required to give out personal information or pay a third party in order to qualify for the rebate.
"If you qualify for this rebate, it will be issued to you automatically," Koster said. "You need take no action. I also encourage Missourians with elderly friends or family members to be aware of these scams and talk to their loved ones about being vigilant."
Checks will come directly to beneficiaries who qualify for this benefit under the Affordable Care Act. Seniors or family members should contact 1-800-MEDICARE to report any of these types of calls or go to www.stopmedicarefraud.gov to learn more about efforts to fight scams like these.