Frauds & Scams, General, Guest Bloggers, Medicare

You’ve Worked Hard for the Money — Now Protect It!

June 18, 2018 • By

Reading Time: 2 Minutes

Last Updated: August 19, 2021

World Elder Abuse Awareness Day LogoMost of us work hard to save and plan for our retirement. But there are people who work just as hard to take it away from us. Who are they? Phone scammers.

While I was working from home the other day, my phone rang three times. A robotic voice told me that I was in debt to the IRS and needed to pay immediately or I would go to jail. I knew it was a scam because the IRS will NOT contact me by phone; but, I wondered, if I were home alone and did not know these types of scams exist, would I be frightened enough to send money?

We must educate ourselves about the ways of scammers to protect ourselves and those we love. Phone scammers use several scams, such as the Grandparent Scam, the Computer Software Scam, and the very popular, “You’ve just won!” To handle these scam calls, do not pick up the phone. Let your answering machine take a message and then delete it. If you pick up, never send money. Instead, pause before doing anything. Then, call a loved one to get their opinion, check with your bank, or phone the IRS directly to check on your status. Unfortunately, many older Americans send money right away when this happens to them.

Also, please be aware that Medicare has begun to mail out new Medicare cards that no longer show your Social Security number. This is good news! It helps protect you. However, senior citizens may not know this. The bad news is that scammers are pretending to be from Medicare to get their private information.

World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, on June 15, aims to promote a better understanding of this type of abuse and neglect of older persons by raising awareness. Financial elder abuse can take many forms, from IRS and Lottery scams to theft of money by trusted people. However, financial is only one form of elder abuse happening daily. Other types include physical, emotional, and sexual abuse, as well as neglect.

The National Center on Elder Abuse (NCEA) is a resource center at the Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California. They provide resources to educate people about all types of elder abuse, including information and resources to help detect, intervene, and prevent abuse. Two fact sheets, Scammed? Now what… and The Grandparent Scam, provide scam information. Training resources on elder abuse are also available. Visit NCEA’s website to learn more about protecting yourself, your loved ones, and your community from elder abuse.


Julie Schoen JD, brings her passion for all aspects of aging issues to her role as Deputy Director of the NCEA. She is an attorney with a strong background in Medicare advocacy who is now having impact in the area of elder abuse.

Eden Ruiz-Lopez leads grant management, and engages in education and outreach activities at the NCEA, among many other activities. Her background includes a wide range of advocacy, case management and service coordination for older people and people with disabilities.

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  1. JOHN L.

    Congress stole 2.85 Trillion. Be our custodian and make written and verbal demands to get our money back. Or be quite and keep you plum job. I bet you won’t say a word to Congress. **#%&!!!!!

    • Snarky

      So if a bank loans out your money for someone to buy a car, they’ve stolen it. Forget the fact that the bank will still let you withdraw your money that they supposedly stole. The 2’85 trillion is covered by treasurer notes.

  2. Geraldine H.

    Pls keep up the good work!!!

    • Ray F.

      Thank you, Geraldine! Social Security is committed to providing world-class customer service today and in the years to come.

  3. Carolyn

    Thank you

  4. Joan B.

    Thank you for this important alert

  5. Uatea W.


    • Snarky

      Thanks for enlightening us all!

  6. Phil S.

    And don’t forget the people who have been trying to steal our social security for the last 40 years by introducing privatizing scams; Republican lawmakers, bankers and Wall street gamblers.

    • Snarky

      I won’t and don’t forget about people who make up s**t because they repeat the BS in the Democrat playbook over and over.

  7. Teddy K.

    Thank you for this imformation

    • Ray F.

      We appreciate your thoughts. Thanks for your comment!

  8. nancy s.

    Well done. ns

  9. Jim P.

    THANK YOU… I hope every family member is aware of this to protect the seniors….vulnerable at best…why would you help them up stairs, or into the car, or with grocery shopping and not help with protection from scams?

  10. John O.

    Is Social Security an entitlement program?

    • logic A.

      Depends on whose definition of the word you use. Technically, yes. Think about it. You paid into the system, therefore you are entitled to its benefits.

    • Logic A.

      Depends on whose definition of the word you use. Think about it you paid into the system, therefore, you are entitled to its benefits.

    • Snarky

      No, that term applies to welfare.

      • logic a.

        Right, the bad form of government handout

        • Logic A.

          From the US Senate glossary: entitlement – A Federal program or provision of law that requires payments to any person or unit of government that meets the eligibility criteria established by law. Entitlements constitute a binding obligation on the part of the Federal Government, and eligible recipients have legal recourse if the obligation is not fulfilled. Social Security and veterans’ compensation and pensions are examples of entitlement programs.

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