Senior Gazette

Summer 2008
by Carol Schmitkons,
Amherst Township Senior Service Director

Home-Delivered Meal Program

Summer is coming and many seniors like to work in their yard and take advantage of the nice weather to participate in various activities. If you don’t like to spend time cooking in a hot kitchen, why not try our meal program available to anyone over 60. We have a variety of food choices and the cost depends on your income level. If you are interested in joining our program or in delivering meals, please call 988-5822 for more details.

ATTSO

OFFICE HOURS

8:00 A.M. – NOON 

(Monday-Friday)


Helpful Credit Card Information

Put your work phone number on your checks instead of your home phone. If you have a PO Box, use that instead of your home address. If you do not have a PO Box, use your work address. Never have your Social Security number printed on your checks.

Photocopy the contents of your wallet (both sides of each license, credit card, etc.) so you will know what was in your wallet as well as providing a record of all the account numbers and phone numbers to call and cancel if your wallet is lost or stolen. Keep the copy in a safe place. Carry a photocopy of your passport when you travel either here or abroad.

Some critical information to limit the damage in case your wallet or purse are stolen:

  • You should cancel your credit cards immediately. The key is having the toll free numbers and your card numbers handy so you know whom to call (see above paragraph). Keep this information where you can find it.
  • File a police report immediately in the jurisdiction where your wallet or purse was stolen. This proves to the credit providers that you were diligent, and this is a first step toward an investigation (if there ever is one).
  • Perhaps the most important step of all is to call the 3 national credit reporting organizations immediately to place a fraud alert on your name. (I had never heard of doing that until advised by a bank that called to tell me an application for credit was made over the Internet in my name.) Also call the Social Security fraud line number.

    The alert means any company that checks your credit knows that your information was stolen, and they have to contact you by phone to authorize new credit.

Here are the numbers you always need to call if your credit information has been stolen:

  1. Equifax: 1-800-525-6285

  2. Experian: 1-888-397-3742

  3. Trans Union 1-800-680 7289

  4. Social Security Administration (fraud line): 1-800-269-0271
Fraud Target: Senior Citizens
Because there are so many good tips, more information will be shared in future editions of the "Senior Gazette".

The following information may be found at:
www.fbi.gov/majcases/fraud/seniorsfam.htm
It has been the experience of the FBI that the elderly are targeted for fraud for several reasons:

  1. Older American citizens are most likely to have a "nest egg," own their home and/or have excellent credit all of which the con-man will try to tap into.
  2. Individuals who grew up in the 1930s, 1940s, and 1950s were generally raised to be polite and trusting. The con-man will exploit these traits knowing that it is difficult or impossible for these individuals to say "no" or just hang up the phone.
  3. Older Americans are less likely to report a fraud because they don't know who to report it to, are too ashamed at having been scammed, or do not know they have been scammed. In some cases, an elderly victim may not report the crime because he or she is concerned that relatives may come to the conclusion that the victim no longer has the mental capacity to take care of his or her own financial affairs.
  4. When an elderly victim does report the crime, they often make poor witnesses. The con-man knows the effects of age on memory and he/she is counting on the fact that the elderly victim will not be able to supply enough detailed information to investigators such as: How many times did the fraudster call? What time of day did he/she call? Did he provide a call back number or address? Was it always the same person? Did you meet in person? What did the fraudster look like? Did he/she have any recognizable accent? Where did you send the money? What did you receive if anything and how was it delivered? What promises were made and when? Did you keep any notes of your conversations? The victims' realization that they have been victimized may take weeks or, more likely, months after contact with the con-man. This extended time frame will test the memory of almost anyone.
  5. Lastly, when it comes to products that promise increased cognitive function, virility, physical conditioning, anti-cancer properties and so on, older Americans make up the segment of the population most concerned about these issues. In a country where new cures and vaccinations for old diseases have given every American hope for a long and fruitful life, it is not so unbelievable that the products offered by these con-men can do what they say they can do.

Some Tips to Avoiding Counterfeit Prescription Drugs

  • Be mindful of appearance. Closely examine the packaging and lot numbers of prescription drugs and be alert of any changes from one prescription to the next.
  • Consult your pharmacist or physician if your prescription drug looks suspicious.
  • Alert your pharmacist and physician immediately if your medication causes adverse side effects or if your condition does not improve.
  • Use caution when purchasing drugs on the Internet. Do not purchase medications from unlicensed online distributors or those who sell medications without a prescription. Reputable online pharmacies will have a seal of approval called the "Verified Internet Pharmacy Practice Site" (VIPPS), provided by the Association of Boards of Pharmacy in the United States.
  • Product promotions or cost reductions and other "special deals" may be associated with counterfeit product promotion.

Medical Equipment Fraud:

Equipment manufacturers offer "free" products to individuals. Insurers are then charged for products that were not needed and/or may not have been delivered.

Medicare Fraud:

  • Never sign blank insurance claim forms.
  • Never give blanket authorization to a medical provider to bill for services rendered.
  • Ask your medical providers what they will charge and what you will be expected to pay out-of-pocket.
  • Carefully review your insurer's "Explanation of Benefits" (EOB) statement. Call your insurer and provider if you have questions.
  • Do not do business with door-to-door or telephone salespeople who tell you that services of medical equipment are free.
  • Give your insurance/Medicare identification only to those who have provided you with medical services.
  • Keep accurate records of all health care appointments.
  • Know if your physician ordered equipment for you.
Allied Waste Services Offers Senior Discount
If you are an Amherst Township senior who meets all of the requirements listed below, you are eligible for a discount that can save you approximately $60 per year on your trash pickup bill:
  • You have a Golden Buckeye Card.
  • You are not employed outside the home.
  • You have no children or boarders living with you.
  • You are limited to 2 cans or 3 bags, weekly

If you are one of the few residents who are on the "Pay As You Throw" program, you will receive a "68-gallon" can on the reduced plan. This will be the same size can other residents will receive for the reduced plan as the "PAYT" program is introduced to other areas of the township.

To receive the discount, you must drop off or mail a copy of your Golden Buckeye card (showing both sides) along with acknowledgement that you meet the above criteria. Do not send this information with your bill, as the bill goes to a different location. The mailing address is:

Elyria Allied Waste
P.O. Box 4011
Elyria, OH 44036

If you prefer to drop off the information in person, the service window is open from 8am until noon on Monday through Friday. Allied Waste is located at 40195 Butternut Ridge Road in Elyria.

For more details call 1-800-433-1309.

New E-Mail Address!!:  amhersttwpseniors@oh.rr.com