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. Mr B.

    Mr Big Big Weiner here. Have a great day.

  2. Mr B.

    I need extra money to have a reduction on my Big Weiner. It is sooo large I have trouble stuffing it in my pants.
    Thank You.

  3. Ruben A.

    I have been recieving messages to call this number or my social security will be terminated. there were two calls about this today from New Mexico.
    I don’t feel like this is a legitimate call, and want your input on the matter.
    Thank you

    • Ray F.

      Hello Ruben, SSA employees occasionally contact citizens by telephone for customer-service purposes. An SSA employees may call you in limited situations, such as if you recently filed a claim or have other Social Security business that are pending. In only a few limited special situations, usually already known to the citizen, an SSA employee may request the citizen to confirm personal information over the phone. If a person has questions about any communication—email, letter, text or phone call—that claims to be from SSA, please contact your local Social Security office, or call Social Security’s toll-free customer service number at 1-800-772-1213, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Friday, to verify its legitimacy (TTY number at 1-800-325-0778). Thanks.

  4. Shemetrius B.

    In the special education department of just about every school in America. There is a neglect and abuse child. Let’s stop it before it makes is to SSA.

  5. Shemetrius B.

    I’m 29 years old and I have to file for social security. Isn’t social security wondering how this happened? So many abused and neglected Children are filling for social security. Why aren’t the parents being investigated?

    • Shemetrius B.

      What are the common statics? Poor uneducated African Americans breaking all the rules and taking all the short-cuts in rasing children. #CommonStatics

  6. Bruce C.

    Just received an obviously fraudulent call from “the Social Security Office.” When I called attention to the caller’s lack of standing, he became abusive.

  7. Lawrence B.

    Great message. However, with more than 40 years in accounting (20 of those in governmental auditing), I get “a kick” out of these scam idiots (pronounced Skuh-midiots)! Keep up the good work!

  8. Martha S.

    Social Security needs to tell us how they are working to stop Fraud that occurs when people claim disability Falsely! That increased greatly from 2009-2016 when unemployment was high and when unemployment compensation ran out many people got disability benefits very easily! A huge scandal that will cause the funds for all to be depleted much sooner than if there was good oversight!

  9. Charles M.

    So I received my new Medicare card one day last week. In addition to tearing up my old card my mind somehow thought I should also tear up my Social Security card due to it also having my SSN listed on it…and then moments later I said to myself, “wait, was I supposed to do that?” Hmm. I did so because I figured it was the appropriate thing to do. “Wrong!” Logic fail. But not, really. So this is me now having to go to the local SS office and get another card. But go figure. Maybe a new alpha-numeric number for them should be sought as well. Just saying.

  10. Maria G.

    This is great information for all our elderly citizens, parents & grandparents.

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