SCAMS are on the rise. Internet Scam, Mail Scam, Telephone Scam/Fraud, Consumer Issues. We have ALL personally experienced this or have heard about it in our professional circles. The SCAM_LA Work Group has put together several resources, here are a few key agencies to notify:
If you, or someone you know has been a victim of a scam PLEASE REPORT it!
Local Police and APS (if needed)
Culver City Police Department
Contact: Detective Derek Scharlin
Tel: (310) 253-6312 Fax:(310) 253-6115
Federal Trade commission
Internet Crime Complaint Center, the national database for fraud crimes.
The LA County Department of Consumer Affairs
Avoid Deceptive Sales Practices During Medicare's Enrollment Period
To protect yourself or someone you love from being a victim, please report questionable sales practices to the California Department of Insurance and keep these tips in mind:
- Medicare does not have official sales representatives: don't believe a salesperson who claims to be a Medicare representative. Medicare does not send "representatives" to solicit your business.
- Unsolicited sales calls are prohibited: Federal regulations prohibit unsolicited telephone calls, door-to-door visits, emails and other forms of sales without your permission. If you have not requested that someone contact you it may be a scam.
- Guard your personal information: Never give out personal information such as your Social Security number, bank account numbers, or credit card information over the telephone. verify that the person you are dealing with has proper authority to act on behalf of the plan before you provide your Medicare number. Keep a record of who you speak with and the information that you provide to that person.
- Beware of cross-selling: Cross-selling occurs when a salesperson approaches you for one purpose but then tries to sell you something else. This could lead to an unplanned purchase of a product that may not be in your best interest. Salespeople may not market health care-related products (such as annuities, life insurance, etc..) during a Medicare Advantage or Part D sales activity.
- Take your time: Don't feel pressured to make a quick decision. Be sure that you understand the details of a plan before you enroll. Verify copayment amounts and whether your medical providers participate in the plan that you are considering.
- You don't have to make a change: If you are satisfied that your current plan will meet your needs for the coming year, you don't need to change plans. Confirm the details of your current plan before making a switch.
Bring deceptive practices to the attention of the California Department of Insurance:
The California Department of Insurance wants to know about suspected deceptive sales practices so we can stop them. We are here to help you. If you think that you or someone you love have experienced deceptive conduct, or if you have any questions or concerns, contact the Department at 1-800-927-4357
Additional information can be obtained from the California Department of Aging, Health Insurance Counseling and Advocacy Program (HICAP) at 1-800-434-0222