As the weather gets warmer, scammers’ activity also seems to pick up, according to Col. Brian Prickett of the Clinton County Sheriff’s Office.
Incidents of fraudulent activity regarding Ohio unemployment have been rampant and well-documented the past few months, and now the Sheriff’s Office is receiving calls about scammers regarding Medicare as well as the IRS.
“One thing to note is that Medicare nor the IRS will ever contact you by phone, especially in a cold-call situation,” said Prickett.
Prickett said to watch out for scams regarding the following — which he details in a public presentation that he gives to local groups — and he provides some tips:
Types of fraud
• Health insurance/Medicare
• Counterfeit prescriptions
• Internet fraud
• Investment schemes
• Magazines sales
• Construction schemes such as lightning rods, blacktop, general repairs
What not to do
• Never sign blank forms.
• Never give blanket authorization to a medical provider to bill for services.
• Never do business with door-to-door sales people.
• Never do business with telemarketers
• Never buy products from an unfamiliar company
• Never fall victim to the “you must act now” or the “free gift” bait; this is nothing but high-pressure sales tactics.
• Never give personal information including Social Security number, date of birth, insurance information, Medicare/Medicaid.
You have the power
1. Say no!
a. Telemarketing: Hang up.
b. Door-to-door sales: Say no and close the door; or if you don’t know the person, don’t answer the door.
c. Never allow a stranger in your house, under any circumstance.
• Do business locally, with people you know and trust.
• Consult with family and friends before you react
• Call local law enforcement immediately if you feel you’ve been a victim of fraud.
And remember: “If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.”
For more on Col. Prickett’s presentation about scams, contact him at the Clinton County Sheriff’s Office.