Archive for February, 2010
As the 2010 census process begins, the Census Bureau is canvassing the country and administering surveys by phone, mail, and personal interviews. Census Bureau employees are gathering important census information from citizens. At the same time, identity thieves posing as Census Bureau workers are conducting numerous census scams. Since all U.S. citizens are required to participate in the census, it’s easier than ever for identity thieves to take advantage of unsuspecting people with census scams.
The big question is – how do you tell the difference between a U.S. Census worker and a con artist?
** If a U.S. Census worker knocks on your door, they will have a badge, a handheld device, a Census Bureau canvas bag, and a confidentiality notice. Ask to see their identification and their badge before answering their questions. However, you should never invite anyone you don’t know into your home.
** Census workers are currently only knocking on doors to verify address information. Do not give your Social Security number, credit card or banking information to anyone, even if they claim they need it for the U.S. Census. There are only ten questions on the 2010 census (http://2010.census.gov/2010census/how/interactive-form.php), making it one of the shortest census questionnaires in history. Census workers will only ask you for basic information such as name, gender, age, and race. This information is used to determine how to distribute approximately $400 billion to communities for schools, healthcare, and other services. The census data is also used to determine Congressional seats and redraw local political district lines.
***Census workers may contact you by telephone, mail, or in person at home. However, the Census Bureau will not contact you by Email, so be on the lookout for Email scams impersonating the Census takers. Never click on a link or open any attachments in an Email that are supposedly from the U.S. Census Bureau. Report the scam by forwarding the email to the Census Bureau at ITSO.Fraud.Reporting@census.gov.
Be vigilant. Protect your information. Learn more about preventing census scams from the identity theft expert, Linda Vincent, RN. PI.
With false billings to Medicare totaling about 1.6 million dollars, Dr. Seth Yoser is still practicing medicine. You see a criminal conviction or arrest does not begin an action against the health professional’s license. Dr. Yoser pleased guilty to 35 counts of federal fraud charges in July and is still waiting sentencing. Another reason to always check the license of your physician on a regular basis. Read article at Memphis Daily News: http://www.memphisdailynews.com/editorial/Article.aspx?id=47751.
Earlier this year, HHS and the Department of Justice created a new Health Care Fraud Preventing and Enforcement Action Team (HEAT). The program expands existing DOJ-HHS Medicare Fraud Strike Force teams that focus on data analysis to track fraud. Also new is a requirement that DME suppliers except pharmacies be certified by CMS in order to reduce fraud.
The OIG has also launched an online consumer program, http://www.StopMedicareFraud.gov/, to combat medical identity theft. The website and printed materials offer tips on how to recognize medical identity theft and what to do if it happens. Common scams include offering free services, groceries, transportation, or other items in exchange for Medicare numbers, as well as telephone surveyors or marketers who ask for Medicare numbers as an identifier.
All the makings of the great money making opportunity, first off, preying on the homeless, then kickbacks, violations of false Claims Act, performing medical unnecessary treatments and taking tax payer money to do so through Medicare and Medi-Cal. Read the article Fierce Healthcare: http://www.fiercehealthcare.com/press-releases/former-los-angeles-medical-center-owners-agree-10-million-consent-judgment-medicare-a?utm_medium=nl&utm_source=internal
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