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June, 2006

Senior News from June, 2006

Use Direct Deposit To Protect Your Money

Every month, the government mails out approximately 12 million Social Security and other benefit checks to people in the United States, including many senior citizens.  Unfortunately, many criminals know that these older Americans will be going to the bank to deposit their money.  To eliminate the risk of lost, stolen, or forged checks, the U.S. Department of the Treasury, the Federal Reserve Banks, along with the National Crime Prevention Council, is encouraging senior citizens to sign up for direct deposit through a new program called Go Direct.  This service deposits money directly into a person’s bank account, thus eliminating the need for paper checks.

 

Go Direct is gaining more support across the country from businesses and law enforcement agencies.  The program can offer peace of mind to many senior citizens, and also makes funds accessible as soon as they become available.

 

For more information, visit Go Direct.

 

Florida Releases “Top 10 Fraud List”

The Florida Department of Financial Services released its annual “Top 10” list of the boldest and most costly fraud schemes as part of the state’s Insurance Fraud Prevention Week, which continues through June 26.  The list includes such scams as the “Classic Ponzi Scheme,” the “Trust Fund Tackle,” and “Preying on the Elderly.”  It represents scams that have netted nearly $15 million in fraud in Florida.

 

The release of the list follows the 15th annual Florida Insurance Fraud Education Council Conference, held in Orlando.  At the conference, the Department of Financial Services was able to celebrate the fact that they have made 740 arrests and won 560 convictions related to fraud charges since last year.  Convictions are up 70 percent from the previous year according to Florida’s Chief Financial Officer Tom Gallagher.

 

For more information, and to view the “Top 10” list visit Florida Department of Financial Services.

 

Illinois Initiates Senior Sleuths Program

The Attorney General of the state of Illinois, Lisa Madigan, has recently implemented a Senior Sleuths program in that state.  The program involves training a volunteer corps of senior citizens to recognize common scams that are often targeted at older Americans.  These senior volunteers then return to their communities to educate other senior citizens about how to recognize these scams, and how to avoid becoming a victim of fraud.  The training focuses on Medicare Fraud scams, but the volunteers are also educated on identity theft, sweepstakes fraud, lottery fraud, charity fraud, and more.

 

The program utilizes the talents, time, and energy of older citizens in the state while making a difference in the fight against crime. Madigan urges seniors in Illinois to sign up and rally to the cause.

 

For more information visit the Illinois Attorney General website.

 

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