The Ohio District 5 Area Agency on Aging and the Ohio Department of Aging have issued a consumer alert for older Ohioans following scammers' attempts to get information or access to elders' homes.
All should be aware of those showing up unannounced, claiming to represent an 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 him or her. Any representative 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 verify the individual is who he or she claims to be. Representatives of agencies on aging are required to carry a badge or other documents identifying them as an employee of the agency.
If asked to complete or sign forms, insist you be allowed to review them and mail them later. Verify any forms with your area agency on aging before completing or signing. If the person insists you sign in their presence, refuse and ask him or her 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 will always provide an employee name and callback number. If you suspect fraud, get the caller's name, then hang up and call (866) 243-5678.
Scammers may claim to represent any of these organizations: area agency on aging, council on aging, office of aging, PASSPORT or other organizations with similar titles.