Senior Medicare Patrol Newsletter - December 2013

Federal Trade Commission Issues Report – Iowans Rely on the “Do Not Call Registry”

            In a recent report issued by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), Iowa ranked high in the percentage of residents who take advantage of the Do Not Call Registry.  Iowa was 12th in the nation with 78% of personal phone numbers registered! 

            Iowa’s Senior Medicare Patrol recommends that you register your number today.  (Maybe next year we can be tops in the country!)  Call 1-888-382-1222 or visit www.donotcall.gov.  If you call, you must do so from the number you want to register.  You can register up to three personal phone numbers and your registration does not expire.   After you’ve been registered 31 days, telemarketers are not allowed to make sales calls to you.  If you do receive sales calls from places you’ve not done business with in the last 18 months, you should make a note of the date, time and business that called you. 

            Although the Registry does not stop political, charity or survey calls there is a solution to those unwanted calls, too.  You have the right to ask the political organization, charity or survey caller to place your number on their organization’s do not call list.  Make a note of when you make this request and to which organizations. 

            Registering your phone number or telling the organization or business not to call your number, gives you the right to file a complaint if they do call you. Use the notes you took about the dates and callers.   It is very important to file complaints because money talks and if the FTC receives complaints they can fine the organizations.   You can file a complaint at the phone number and web address listed earlier.  

            Join your wise friends and neighbors who’ve already registered their numbers.  When you start enjoying getting fewer annoying calls, you’ll also be able to spot a scam caller more easily!  The sources of information for this article are “FY 2013 National Do Not Call Registry Data Book” and www.consumer.ftc.gov  

 

“Money Smart for Older Adults”

            A new resource guide to help prevent financial exploitation has been created by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC).  The Senior Medicare Patrol helped provide information for this guide, which discusses how to prevent frauds, scams and other types of elder financial exploitation.  A “MetLife Study of Elder Financial Abuse: Crimes of Occasion, Desperation, and Predation Against America’s Elders” cites an estimated $2.9 billion lost by older Americans due to exploitation in 2010.  Government and private organizations regard financial exploitation to be an epidemic. 

            The “Money Smart for Older Adults” guide is available to download at www.consumerfinance.gov/older-americans

 

  • News prepared by Deb Yankey, Iowa Senior Medicare Patrol Coordinator, Northeast Iowa Area Agency on Aging (NEI3A), Waterloo, IA,  dyankey@nei3a.org

 

This document was supported, in part, by Grant #90MP0161-02, from the Administration for Community Living/Administration on Aging, Department of Health and Human Services.  Grantees undertaking projects under government sponsorship are encouraged to express freely their findings and conclusions.  Points of view or opinions do not, therefore, necessarily represent official Administration on Aging policy.      

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