Scam artists are targeting seniors

Oklahoma’s seniors are the perfect target for con artists. Many of them have a “nest egg,” own their own home and have excellent credit. This summer the Oklahoma Insurance Department is arming seniors with the tools they need to protect themselves from fraud.

“Scam artists exploit the very traits in our older citizens that we love so much,” Oklahoma Insurance Commissioner John D. Doak said. “Seniors were taught to be polite and trusting. But we’re teaching them techniques and giving real-life examples to help them be mindful of the risks involving insurance and many other interactions and decisions.”

A panel will fan out across the state to share information and advice in seven different cities in June and July.

Some red flags that attendees will learn about include:

Unrequested calls from Medicare or Social Security. Fraudsters claim to be with these offices asking for financial or other personal information to get beneficiaries a new card or better benefits. These are almost always a scam.

  • Pressure to act quickly. If an offer is legitimate, it will still be there tomorrow.
  • Unsolicited offers for free money or fast cash. A promise of lottery winnings and guaranteed returns from an unknown inheritance are likely scams.
  • If it seems too good to be true, it probably is. Scam artists make people believe they’ll be better off if they take the deal.

Each seminar is free for seniors and includes breakfast. Insurance professionals can attend a conference for four hours of Continuing Education (CE) credit. The cost for CE credit is $30.

The conferences are partially funded by the Administration on Community Living’s Senior Medicare Patrol grant. To attend, register online at map.oid.ok.gov or call 800-763-2828.

2017 Senior Fraud Conference Schedule

June 27 -Tulsa, Marriott Tulsa Hotel Southern Hills, 1902 E. 71st St.