Be Aware of the Top Ten Scams that Steal from Granny

CNBC recently published a list of the Top Ten Scams that are perpetrated against seniors in the US.

Scams cheat older Americans out of almost $3 billion a year. Here’s what to watch for

Seniors lose an estimated $2.9 billion annually from financial exploitation, according to the Senate Special Committee on Aging.

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Impersonating the IRS was the No. 1 scam targeting seniors in 2018.

More than 1,500 seniors across the country contacted the committee’s fraud hotline in 2018; however, Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt said in recent testimony that only 1 in every 24 cases of elder exploitation gets reported.

“Despite that under-reporting, statistically one in every 10 Americans age 65 or older who lives at home will become a victim of abuse,” he wrote.

Here are the top 10 scams targeting seniors last year, according to the Senate aging committee’s 2019 Fraud Book:

For a description of each of the ten, go back to CNBC or the Fraud Book mentioned above.

1. IRS impersonators
2. Robocalls
3. Sweepstakes scam/Jamaican lottery scam
4. Computer tech support fraud
5. Elder financial abuse
6. Grandparent scams
7. Romance frauds
8. Fake Social Security calls
9. Lawsuit or arrest threats
10. Identity theft

 
Identity thieves not only drain bank accounts and charge credit cards, but they also defraud the government and taxpayers by using stolen personal information to submit fraudulent billings to Medicare and Medicaid.

The Senate aging committee recommends that victims place a fraud alert, report identity theft or file a police report if a scam is suspected.

Sit down with elderly relatives and explain the kinds of frauds that they might experience and then take time and report fraud or suspected fraud.

Almost a day doesn’t go by that I don’t get some call about “free” knee braces and such!  How about you?

Massachusetts: Just Another ‘New American’ Doctor Caught Cheating Medicare/Medicaid

This is a story like so many and wouldn’t have been worth mentioning except that it was fun to find out a little bit about the perpetrator. 

medicaid fraud

The joke of course is that a story like this never mentions anything about the background of the alleged crook and as Ann Coulter said one needs a “secret decoder ring” to learn more about someone with a name like this one—-Dr. Hooshang Poor.

(I searched for a photo of Dr. Poor, but gave up.)

Below is the news of Dr. Poor’s settlement with the government over his Medicare/Medicaid fraud.

From Patch.com,

Newton Doctor Accused Of Fraud To Pay $680K In Settlement

 

NEWTON, MA – A Newton doctor has agreed to pay $680,000 to resolve allegations that he violated the False Claims Act by submitting inflated claims to Medicare and the Massachusetts Medicaid program (MassHealth) for care to nursing home patients, the US Attorney’s Office and the Attorney General announced Thursday.

Mass Health logo

“This doctor stole hundreds of thousands of dollars from MassHealth – taking away health care resources for those who are most in need,” said Attorney General Maura Healey in a statement. “We will continue to take action to defend the integrity of MassHealth and protect Massachusetts residents.”

Hooshang Poor, who has been treating patients in long-term care facilities since 1987, was audited by MassHealth and the state in 2017. The government contends that, between June 1, 2011 and May 31, 2017, Poor submitted inflated claims for nursing home care by assigning false procedural codes that overstated the length, extent, and scope of services he and his employees furnished to nursing home residents, according to the government in the settlement agreement.

“Dr. Poor enriched himself at taxpayer expense by improperly billing Medicare and Medicaid,” said United States Attorney Andrew E. Lelling in a statement.

The US Justice Department statement is here.

Then get this next charge.

He billed for services even while he was out of the country on ten trips!  My first thought was:  Did he take our taxpayer dollars abroad?

The audit also found that Poor billed MassHealth for more than $15,000 in services that took place while he was traveling abroad on 10 different occasions.

Dangerous drugs improperly administered!

The government said Poor did not establish proper guidelines for his staff to follow when prescribing medications to their patients and yet during the audit period, Poor’s nurse practitioner and physician’s assistant wrote 657 prescriptions, including 211 for narcotics such as fentanyl, oxycodone, and methadone.

 

More details here, but there is no mention of any jail time for Dr. Poor!

Who is this guy I wanted to know!

US News has a little bio for Dr. Poor and we learn he has been practicing medicine here for 20 years and received his medical training at Shiraz University of Medical Science.

That University is in Iran.  Is Dr. Poor a US citizen?  That is unclear.

We learn a few more nuggets of information at MyLife. We learn that he has used several aliases and that he is a Muslim.

Hooshang Poor is 68 years old today because Hooshang’s birthday is on 03/05/1950. Hooshang’s Reputation Score is 3.42. Before moving to Hooshang’s current city of Newton Center, MA, Hooshang lived in Sunny Isles Beach FL. Hooshang Dadkhahipoor, Hooshang Dadkhahi Poor, Hooshang Dadkhani-poor, Hoo Dadhahipoo and Hoshang D Poor are some of the alias or nicknames that Hooshang has used. Background details that you might want to know about Hooshang include: ethnicity is Caucasian, whose political affiliation is unknown; and religious views are listed as Muslim.

So, LOL! maybe the headline to the story should read, Muslim Doctor from Iran Rips off American Taxpayers.

Of course, that will never happen! But, I can dream can’t I?

I’m increasingly seeing stories about nursing home frauds that usually involve some issues of dangerous drugs being handled improperly, so are you keeping a close eye on loved ones in long term care facilities?

question markAnd one more thing, if you are looking for something to do, contact the reporter or editor of the paper when you see stories of obvious ‘new Americans’ committing crimes and ask why they aren’t telling us any background on the perp?