Director of the Ocean County Board of Commissioners Joseph H. Vicari is urging senior residents to be cautious of scam phone calls that are targeting senior residents.
“With over 200,000 seniors living in Ocean County, it is important that we make sure our residents are informed of scams so that they can protect themselves,” said Vicari, who serves as Chairman to the Ocean County Office of Senior Services. “I encourage our citizens to be cautious when asked to provide their personal information on the phone.”
Recent scam calls have been claiming to be Eldercare and Elder Locator, which are trusted resources that help connect older adults and people with disabilities to resources in their community. In addition, there have been reports of callers claiming to be Social Security and Medicare.
These callers are asking for personal information such Social Security numbers, banking information and Medicare information or demanding payments.
Residents are encouraged to remember that the government will never call unexpectedly and ask for a Social Security number, and Social Security numbers cannot be suspended.
Also, the government will never ask for payment by gift card or wire transfer.
“We want to make sure that our seniors are aware of what to look out for so they can make smart decisions,” said Vicari. “Our Departments of Senior Services and Consumer Affairs do a great job working with our residents to help them stay alert so they do not fall for these scams.”
If you suspect that you have received a fraud phone call, residents should hang up on suspicious “government officials” calling about a problem with your social security number or account, and never pay payments with gift cards, wire transfers or by mailing cash.
Seniors who are targeted by scams and fraud, or their caregivers, can call the Department of Justice’s “National Elder Fraud Hotline” at 833-FRAUD-11 (833-372-8311).
In addition, scams and fraud targeting people of any age can be reported to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) by calling 877-FTC-HELP (877-382-4357) or visiting https://reportfraud.ftc.gov.
Residents can also contact the Ocean County Office of Senior Services at 732-929-2091 or the Ocean County Department of Consumer Affairs at 732-929-2105 for more information.