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Attorney General Nessel Brings Attention to Imposter Scam Targeting the Elderly, Disabled
November 03, 2023
LANSING – Reports of an increase in government imposter fraud targeting seniors and people with disabilities has led Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel to reiterate her warnings about scam phone calls and re-issue tips seniors can use to protect themselves.
Fraudsters claiming to be from the Administration for Community Living’s (ACL) Eldercare Locator or the Disability Information & Access Line (DIAL) have reportedly made calls to seniors asking for personal information such as someone's Social Security number, banking information, or Medicare number — or demanding payment, threatening jail time, or fines. In some cases, these individuals have used harassment techniques, such as repeatedly calling victims from the same number.
The Eldercare Locator is a nationwide service connecting older adults and their caregivers with trustworthy local support resources. DIAL helps people with disabilities access COVID-19 vaccinations and tests. DIAL also provides information about essential services such as transportation, housing support, disability rights, and more.
Seniors and their caregivers should remember that no government agency will ever:
- call out of the blue and ask for a Social Security number;
- ask for payment by gift card, bitcoin or other digital currency or wire transfer; or
- threaten to suspend anyone’s Social Security number -- this cannot be done.
“The actions of these bad actors threaten to undermine resources that seniors rely on every day by using them as vehicles for fraud,” Nessel said. “The best way to avoid becoming a victim is to be suspicious of anyone calling to ask for your personal information. My office’s Consumer Protection Team stands ready to answer your questions and provide assistance whenever it is needed.”
Nessel and ACL recommend following these tips to protect your personal and financial information:
- End a call right away if you have any suspicions about the caller.
- Never provide your Social Security number, bank account information, or Medicare number to someone who phones, messages, or emails you unsolicited.
- Never use a gift card or wire transfer to make payment to someone you do not know.
- Never open email attachments or links unless you know the sender.
- Join the National Do Not Call Registry.
You can review the Department of Attorney General’s Imposter Scams page for more information. If you think you have been a victim of an imposter scam, you can file a consumer complaint or get additional information by contacting the Michigan Department of Attorney General:
Consumer Protection Team
P.O. Box 30213
Lansing, MI 48909
Online complaint form