Resources concerning senior issues and financial exploitation.
AARP Fraud Watch
The AARP Fraud Watch Network gives you access to information about how to protect yourself and your family. You can sign up to get Watchdog Alerts to stay informed on con artists’ latest tricks, and find out what to do if you’ve been victimized. It’s free for everyone.
Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB)
The CFPB offers several resources:
- Print brochures on topics such as reverse mortgages, at http://promotions.usa.gov/cfpbpubs.html
- An online resource called ASK CFPB, which contains answers to commonly-asked consumer questions with a special section for older Americans, at http://www.consumerfinance.gov/askcfpb/
- A consumer complaint line for financial products including mortgages, car loans, consumer loans, bank accounts and services, student loans and credit reporting. Complaints can be filed online at consumerfinance.gov/complaint/ or by calling 1-855-411-2372.
Elder Care Locator
The Eldercare Locator, a public service of the Administration on Aging, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, is a nationwide service that connects older adults and their caregivers with information on senior services. You can search for services by location or by topic.
Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC)
1-877-ASK-FDIC (275-3342) Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Visit the FDIC’s website for information and resources on consumer issues. The quarterly FDIC Consumer News provides practical hints and guidance on how to become a smarter, safer user of financial services.
Federal Trade Commission
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) website offers practical information on a variety of consumer topics. Two brochures on identity theft are available online or in print: Taking Charge: What to do if Your Identity is Stolen and Identity Theft: What to Know, What to do. An online complaint form is available directly at www.ftccomplaintassistant.gov.
The FTC also provides a brochure giving guidance and information on how to select a contractor: Home Sweet Home Improvement.
The official U.S. Government site for Medicare allows you to search for physicians and other health care providers that are enrolled in Medicare.
National Association of Area Agencies on Aging (n4a)
This umbrella organization supports a national network of more than 600 area agencies on aging and nearly 250 Title VI Native American aging programs through advocacy, training, publications, and technical assistance. It administers the Eldercare Locator.
National Center on Elder Abuse
The Administration on Aging sponsored website provides resources on elder abuse prevention, including information on reporting a suspected case of elder abuse.
OnGuardOnline.gov is the federal government’s website to help you be safe, secure and responsible online. Its resources include information on phishing available at http://onguardonline.gov/articles/0003-phishing.
Senior Medicare Patrol (SMP)
The SMP programs, also known as Senior Medicare Patrol programs, help Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries avoid, detect, and prevent health care fraud. SMPs nationwide recruit and teach nearly 5,700 volunteers every year to help in this effort. Most SMP volunteers are both retired and Medicare beneficiaries and thus well-positioned to assist you. Visit the website above or call for more information or to get contact information for your state SMP.
Social Security Administration
Toll free customer service at 1-800-772-1213. Deaf or hearing-impaired individuals can call Social Security’s TTY number at 1-800-325-0778
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
Look under Veterans Services for an online booklet describing the benefits that may be available. To find a list of accredited representatives, agents, and attorneys who can assist you in filing for benefits, visit www.va.gov/ogc/apps/accreditation/index.asp.