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Alaska's Senior Fraud Campaign Unveiled


December 18, 2005

Alaska's First Lady Nancy Murkowski, Commerce Commissioner Bill Noll and Health and Social Services Commissioner Karleen Jackson, on Friday unveiled the state's "Be Elder Wise" campaign advising seniors they should be wary as they are often a target of fraud. The campaign is paid for by a grant from the U.S. Administration on Aging and includes direct mail and print advertising.



"This campaign is important because it doesn't just focus on one type of scam, it reminds seniors to be generally alert for all types of fraud," said the First Lady. "We know that as soon as seniors are made aware of one con, another comes along to take its place."

"Seniors are preyed upon for two main reasons," said Commissioner Noll. "One, they've been taught to be polite and won't just hang up. And two, many have a nest egg so the opportunity is there."

The campaign is intended to remind seniors to be generally alert when approached with offers that seem too good to be true.

"Once a fraud is committed against a senior, recovering lost money is difficult and often impossible," said Noll. "That's why it's critical we stop the crime before it's committed."

Medicare fraud may even be a bigger problem, said Commissioner Jackson. "Medical care scams are the leading source of senior fraud-and Medicare fraud is part of that," said Jackson. "When Medicare is overcharged, costs go up for everyone."

Commissioner Jackson encourages Seniors to scrutinize their medical bills and ask questions. If the Senior isn't satisfied with the answer, call the Medicare fraud hotline toll free at 1-800-447-8477.

The Division of Banking and Securities has also set up a toll free number that goes directly to personnel at the division. Seniors are encouraged to call if they have a question about an investment offer or to report fraud at 1-888-925-2521.

The $100,000 campaign includes three direct mail postcards with corresponding print ads. Seniors 64 and older should see the first postcard in the mail at the end of December with print ads running shortly thereafter.


On the Web:

Be Elder Wise: Senior Fraud Campaign

Source of News:

Alaska Department of Commerce

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Ketchikan, Alaska