Take Simple Actions to Prevent Phone Scams & Protect Yourself If Scammed

Take Simple Actions to Prevent Phone Scams & Protect Yourself If Scammed

Take Simple Actions to Prevent
Phone Scams &
Protect Yourself If Scammed

Here is a quick action plan checklist if you feel you
have been scammed or your identity compromised.

  • If you’ve been scammed, notify your bank. If a scammer has any part of your account number, close it immediately. Open a new account with new account number.
  • Contact the 3 credit bureaus: Experian 888-397-3742, EquiFax 800-685-1111 & TransUnion 800-888-4213 and post a fraud alert statement. Freeze your Credit Bureau Report (CBR) if you are not opening any new credit cards or have any major purchases.
  • Contact your phone company and if you don’t have it, get Caller ID. Tell them you are a senior citizen and had a fraud/scam attempt. There are special low-cost programs to help cover the cost of Caller ID.
  • If you have Caller ID, give the phone number used by the scam caller to the phone company and have the number blocked.
  • Add your phone number to the Do Not Call List. Register each phone number you have by calling from each number (cell phone and home phone) 888-382-1222
  • Call the police or sheriff to at least file a report. If enough people call in, they will pay more attention. We can track the scammers by zip codes they are targeting.
  • Notify your local newspaper; write a letter to the editor.
  • Notify your local TV and radio stations. Many of them will report your incident in their broadcasts as a Community Service.
  • Call your local Health Insurance Counseling and Advocacy Program (HICAP) & Senior Medicare Patrol (SMP) to report healthcare fraud at 855-613-7080.

Remember, we can only stop them with your help. Together we can win this!

 

Our blogger Karen J. Fletcher is CHA's publications consultant. She provides technical expertise, writing and research on Medicare, health disparities and other health care issues. With a Masters in Public Health from UC Berkeley, she serves in health advocacy as a trainer and consultant. See her current articles.