Cooking for One
Indiana Elder Abuse Awareness Week
June 15th is World Elder Abuse Awareness Day and the start of Indiana Elder Abuse Awareness Week. Last year, dozens of Indiana organizations serving older adults announced the creation of IN-CASE, the Indiana Council Against Senior Exploitation. The mission of IN-CASE is to empower Indiana communities to prevent and end senior exploitation and abuse. IN-CASE is celebrating its one-year anniversary this June!
Last year, IN-CASE hosted numerous events throughout the state. Because of physical distancing limitations due to the Coronavirus pandemic, IN-CASE will be hosting virtual events via social media and sharing tips how to protect yourself against exploitation, scams and abuse during Indiana Elder Abuse Awareness Week. Isolation is one of the key predictors of falling victim to a scam or exploitation. Even though we can’t all be together physically, we can stay connected and stay safe!
Cooking for One
Even before the creation of IN-CASE, Indiana Senior Medicare Patrol (INSMP) worked to educate seniors and their caregivers about scams and fraud and how to identify them so they could avoid becoming a victim. One of the tools INSMP developed was a set of Cooking for One recipe cards. The cards have recipes and reminders about some common scams. We thought this might be a good time to share these since by now, due to physical distancing, most people have exhausted their “tried and true” recipes and might be interested in trying something new.
The titles describe the recipe. Below the title are reminders they carry. If you suspect you have fallen victim to any of these fraud schemes, IN-CASE can connect you to the appropriate agency for help. Each recipe also has a link to a PDF that will take you to a printable recipe card.
Meathead Meatloaf in a Mug
Protect your Information – don’t give your Medicare, Social Security, or banking information to ‘MEATHEADS’ or criminals who might call you unsolicited on the phone, visit your home, email or speak with you at events. Personal information is the commodity of the 21st Century! Protect your Social Security number by placing a security or credit freeze. See the Indiana Attorney General’s Office website for more information.
Scam/SPAM Corn Chowder
Don’t fall victim to SCAMS. Common scams are lottery/sweepstakes scams, the grandparent scam, IRS and Social Security scams, free back/arm/leg braces, genetic testing and Coronavirus prevention, treatment, and bogus test kits scams. Contact a trusted entity like the Better Business Bureau, the Attorney General’s Office, IN-CASE or your Area Agency on Aging before participating in any unsolicited requests.
Foil a Criminal – Baked Fish in Foil
DETECT Medicare fraud by reviewing your Medicare Summary Notices for errors, services or items not received, or double billing. Enroll in MyMedicare.gov and get your notices online. Do the same with your credit/debit card bills and bank statements. It is always a good idea to put alerts on your credit/debit cards so you can stop any unauthorized activity as soon as it occurs. Ask your card issuer for more information. Contact INSMP if you see anything suspicious at 800-986-3505.
Do Time – Lemon Thyme Chicken
REPORT criminals – they can only be convicted and do “thyme” if you report them. Call INSMP at 800-986-3505 if you suspect Medicare Fraud. Familiarize yourself with IN-CASE at www.IN-CASE.org for information on other organizations dealing with other types of fraud, abuse and exploitation of older adults.
Just Hang Up Hanger Steak
The best way to avoid getting taken advantage of by scammers is not to answer the phone if you have caller ID and don’t recognize the number. Or, let the call go to your answering machine or voice mail so they can leave a message (most times they won’t). If you forget and answer the phone, HANG UP as soon as you realize it is an unwanted call.
Remember, being scammed can happen to anyone. It is nothing to be ashamed of. If you think someone is trying to scam you, reach out to local authorities, a trusted family member or friend, or one of the IN-CASE organizations. We are all physically distancing, but if you are online or have a phone, you don’t have to do this alone.
If you would like to receive a laminated set of these recipe cards, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, visit the INSMP website, or call us at 317-205-9201 and we’ll be glad to send them via email or postal mail.