Residents warned of scammers

COLUMBUS The Ohio Department of Aging has issued a consumer alert for older adults following several incidents in southern Ohio of scammers impersonating staff of elder services agencies to attempt to get information or access to elders’ homes. Residents and their families should be aware of anyone showing up unannounced to their homes claiming to represent an area agency on aging or other similar organization.

Tips to avoid becoming a victim:

Do not allow anyone in your home if you were not expecting them.

Representatives of an area agency on aging will schedule a home visit or allow the visit to be verified.

Ask for identification and call (866) 243-5678 during regular business hours to be connected to the area agency on aging to verify the individual is a representative of the firm. Representatives of area agencies on aging are required to carry a badge or other documents identifying them.

If asked to complete or sign forms, insist that forms be kept for review and mailed in later. Verify forms with the area agency on aging before completing or signing. If the person insists the forms is signed in their presence, refuse and ask them to leave.

If you suspect you’ve been visited by an imposter, ask the individual to leave, then immediately report the incident to local law enforcement. Include a description of the person and, if possible, his or her vehicle.

Scammers also may try to call consumers and ask for information. Legitimate representatives of an area agency on aging will always provide an employee name and call-back number. If you suspect fraud, get the caller’s name, then hang up and call (866) 243-5678.

Anyone who feels they may have been a target should contact local law enforcement.