Published On: March 23, 2020

DO NOT FALL FOR SCAMS – CURRENTLY THERE IS NO CURE FOR COVID-19 (RESOURCES FOR SENIORS)

Attorney General Brnovich and Senator Sinema Issue Warning Regarding New COVID-19 Senior Scams

PHOENIX (the following is a reprint from the Attorney General’s website) – Attorney General Mark Brnovich and Senator Kyrsten Sinema are teaming up to remind Arizona seniors to be on the lookout for new COVID-19 related scams. Both offices have reported an increase in communications from concerned Arizonans. Fake miracle cures and events, shopping thieves, door-to-door sanitization services, robocalls, official-looking phishing emails, and government impostor scams are all on the rise as the unethical try to gain access to the financials of Arizona seniors. Con artists frequently take advantage of headlines and are currently exploiting the anxieties of vulnerable seniors over COVID-19.

COVID-19 and other scams

“This is a vulnerable time for many and we can’t overlook the mental and emotional impact self-isolation can have on us all,” said Attorney General Mark Brnovich. “Now, more than ever, it’s important for Arizonans to remain in regular phone contact with their parents, grandparents, and other seniors to ensure their physical, emotional, and spiritual needs are being met.”

“Arizonans should stay alert and look out for one another during this difficult time. For up-to-date coronavirus information, all Arizonans should listen to government scientists and specialists; they are experts and will help you stay safe, healthy, and calm,” said Senator Kyrsten Sinema.

SHOPPING THIEVES:

There are reports of thieves offering to go shopping for self-isolating seniors, only to take their money and never return with goods. Do not trust random strangers to shop for you. Many Valley grocery stores have announced special early morning hours just for seniors. Non-profits have also offered to help seniors with shopping needs.  Seniors in need of assistance can contact the Area Agency on Aging’s 24-Hour Senior Help Line at 602-264-HELP (602-264-4357) or toll-free at 888-264-2258. Those hard of hearing or deaf can text 520-775-1899.

DOOR-TO-DOOR SERVICES:

The Attorney General’s Office has received reports of individuals going door-to-door claiming they can sanitize homes and help keep seniors from COVID-19. There have also been reports of individuals claiming to work for the 2020 Census asking for financial information or money. The Census Bureau has suspended field operations until April because of COVID-19. Never allow anyone access to your house that you don’t know or didn’t request assistance from.You can still participate in the Census online here.

MIRACLE PRODUCTS AND COVID-19 VACCINES:

Con artists are calling and emailing consumers claiming to be from medical organizations that have a COVID-19 vaccination and require payments to buy a dose. The Internet has been flooded with ads for sham treatments such as hand soaps, supplements, toothpastes, and essential oils. A recently cancelled event scheduled for Phoenix promised supernatural protections against COVID-19. There currently is NO vaccination for COVID-19 and there is NO proven product to cure the virus. 

In a variation of the miracle cure scam, fraudsters try to lure individuals to invest in companies that can supposedly prevent, detect, or cure COVID-19. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) issued an alert about investor fraud involving COVID-19 cures.

GOVERNMENT IMPOSTOR MONEY SCAMS:

scam

Stealing money from seniors

Scammers frequently contact seniors claiming to be from the government or private institutions seeking to obtain personal or financial information for a legitimate purpose. With discussions of possible financial assistance coming as a result of COVID-19, it is important to remember the government will not text you or ask you to pay anything up-front to receive benefits. The government will never call or text and ask for your Social Security number, bank account information, or credit card number.

There are reports of Arizonans receiving text messages about being “Prequalified” to receive money as a result of the “Virus Outbreak.” Financial assistance in the form of government checks are not yet a reality and anyone who tells you they can get you COVID-19 money now is a scammer. Legitimate government offices will not call and threaten to arrest you or penalize you for not providing personal information.

PHONE SCAMS / ROBOCALLS / TEXT MESSAGES / PHISHING EMAILS:

senior scams

Both offices are receiving reports of a spike in illegal robocalls, text messages, and emails being used by scammers to pitch everything from COVID-19 treatments to testing. Consumers should screen their calls and let answering machines and voicemail pick up calls from unknown callers. Place your phone number on the National Do Not Call Registry.

Fraudsters are also sending phishing emails claiming to be from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) or the World Health Organization (WHO). Do not click on any unsolicited links. Do not reveal personal or financial information in email, and do not respond to email solicitations for this information. If you have questions about COVID-19, seek out information from the CDC and the WHO directly.

RESOURCES AVAILABLE FOR SENIORS:

If you believe you have been the victim of consumer fraud, you can file a consumer complaint by visiting the Attorney General’s website. If you need a complaint form sent to you, you can contact the Attorney General’s Office in Phoenix at (602) 542-5763, in Tucson at (520) 628-6648, or outside the Phoenix and Tucson metro areas at (800) 352-8431.

Senator Sinema, a member of the Senate Aging Committee and the Senate Banking Committee, recently cosponsored and shaped the Supporting Older Americans Act of 2020. It will protect seniors from falls, increase resources for chronic diseases, and expand access to home health care and caregivers. The bill passed the U.S. Senate and is now heading to the President’s desk to be signed into law. Sinema also introduced the bipartisan Senior Security Act, which creates a task force at the Securities and Exchange Commission to protect seniors from financial crimes.

Attorney General Brnovich is a member of a bipartisan working group of state attorneys general titled “Protecting America’s Seniors: Attorneys General United Against Elder Abuse.” Last week, General Brnovich notified all financial and lending institutions that serve Arizonans and urged them to provide temporary and economic security to their customers in financial hardship during this unprecedented health emergency.

senior scams

MUSINGS FROM DIANE:

senior scam

Why are there people who believe they have the right to prey on the most vulnerable – our seniors?  I hope there is a place in hell designed just for these scum.

We have a responsibility to protect those who are likely to be victimized – seniors and others who are naive.  Get the word out – share the above information and ask them to continue the share with others.  The more we shine light on this abuse, the more we will make a difference.

 

By |Published On: March 23rd, 2020|Last Updated: February 14th, 2021|

Share this article

About the Author: Diane Drain

Diane is a well respected Arizona bankruptcy and foreclosure attorney. As a retired law professor, she believes in offering everyone, not just her clients, advice about bankruptcy and Arizona foreclosure laws. Diane is also a mentor to hundreds of Arizona attorneys.

*Important Note from Diane: Everything on this web site is offered for educational purposes only and not intended to provide legal advice, nor create an attorney client relationship between you, me, or the author of any article. Information in this web site should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from an attorney familiar with your personal circumstances and licensed to practice law in your state. Make sure to check out their reviews.*

Law Office of D.L. Drain, P.A., Arizona Bankruptcy Lawyer - Google Reviews
Law Office of D.L. Drain, P.A., Arizona Bankruptcy Lawyer - Yelp Reviews
Law Office of D.L. Drain, P.A., Arizona Bankruptcy Lawyer - Avvo Reviews
Avvo - Rate your Lawyer. Get Free Legal Advice.
Law Office of D.L. Drain, P.A., Arizona Bankruptcy Lawyer - Alignable Reviews
Law Office of D.L. Drain, P.A., Arizona Bankruptcy Lawyer - Better Business Bureau
5 / 5

“You folks are the BEST OF THE BEST in Arizona.” M.H.

You and Jay are the best attorneys I have ever had or needed and thank God for the Honorable Robert Gottsfield in recommending you folks – I would have never made it through the entire process without you and Jay and God Bless you both always and stay in touch as well. You folks are the BEST OF THE BEST in Arizona.

5 / 5

“My only regret is that I didn’t find Diane sooner.” K.H.

I can’t say enough good things about Diane. The way she handled my not typical circumstances was amazing. I was very nervous to start the bankruptcy process but Diane just has a very comforting way of explaining the whole process. My only regret is that I didn’t find Diane sooner. If you find yourself in a financial situation that you can’t correct on your own, please Call Diane Drain as soon as possible.

5 / 5

“Filing for bankruptcy can be a stressful life event” R.A.

Filing for bankruptcy can be a stressful life event, and selecting the right attorney can add to this stress. Diane and Jay were a pleasure to work with, and it is obvious that they are passionate about helping people get their life back on track. I would highly recommend them if you need a bankruptcy attorney.

Related Posts

  • Published On: July 29, 2021

    CFPB Releases Online Tool to Help Renters and Landlords Access Federal Assistance New resource helps renters and landlords find state and local programs distributing federal rental assistance funds WASHINGTON, D.C. [...]

  • Published On: May 17, 2021

    Operators of Student Loan Debt Relief Scheme Banned From Providing Debt Relief Services as Part of Settlement with FTC (Reprint from Federal Trade Commission, May 17, 2021) The operators of [...]

  • Published On: March 15, 2021

    Protection of Stimulus Payments from a Bankruptcy Trustee The following is from the NCLC Consumer Law Implications of the American Recovery Plan Act Public Law No. 116-260, Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021, div. FF, [...]

  • Published On: March 8, 2021

    With Protections Expiring, Millions are in Danger of Losing Their Home by: Jann Swanson  Mortgage News Daily, Mar 2 2021, 9:17AM (Reprint for education purposes only) What happens to homeowners [...]

My intention is to put you back in control of your life
Start with $0 down*. We provide affordable payment plans.

FREE CONSULTATION