Friday, April 15, 2016
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In This Issue
Fraud in the News
The following are current news articles about health care and fraud issues.

Health Care Fraud:

Consumer Fraud:

3. "Identity Thieves Turn to 'Spear Phishing', Police Say" (Highland Park News, A Chicago Tribune Community Newspaper)

Please share this Fraud Alert with colleagues, consumers, or other professionals in your area. If you have any questions about the Illinois SMP program, or to receive these Fraud Alerts directly, please contact Jason Echols, Healthcare Consumer Protection Coordinator at AgeOptions.
This project was supported, in part by grant number 90MP0216, from the U.S. Administration for Community Living, Department of Health and Human Services, Washington, D.C. 20201. 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 for Community Living policy. 

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Dear SMP Readers, 


This week's Fraud Alert includes an warning about fake IRS agents calling or visiting and an indictment in an ongoing home health fraud investigation.


Have a great weekend!

The Tax Man Does Not Cometh

One of our SMP partners let us know that a senior housing complex in the Centralia area was targeted by the IRS scam. Several residents received a call from people claiming to be from the IRS or the FBI threatening to come by to pick up the money the residents supposedly owed. This is absolutely a scam because government agencies will never call you and demand that you pay fines or fees immediately. Luckily, several residents realized this and hung up the phone.

We have seen this scam before, but in a new twist, a few days later, an individual showed up at the complex claiming to be from the IRS. The person at the front desk asked to see the supposed IRS agents badge, but the "agent" said no and walked away. Just like they will not call without first sending you a letter, the IRS also does not visit unannounced.

Whether you receive a call or an in-person visit from someone claiming to be from any government agency, the best thing to do is to verify who they are and what they want by asking:
  • What is your name and contact?
  • What agency are you calling/visiting from? 
  • What is this call/visit about?
Then hang up or leave them at the door. Look up the number for their agency (do not use any phone number they give you) and call that agency to verify that this person was supposed to call or visit you.To find the real phone numbers for federal agencies, visit or call 1-844-USA-GOV1 (1-844-872-4681).

Here is more information about government imposter scams from the FTC (click here). 
Indictment Alleges $45 Million in Medicare Fraud in Chicago Case

On Monday, the federal government announced an indictment charging a Chicago husband and wife in a Medicare fraud scheme. The couple owned a physical therapy company which allegedly involved in a fraud scheme with three home health companies owned by the husband's mother. This week's indictment is part of an ongoing fraud investigation that has brought charges against 13 other people, including the husband's mother who is awaiting trail.

The charges include conspiracy to defraud Medicare, money laundering and forced labor. The forced labor charge comes from allegations that the husband submitted fraudulent forms to the Department of Homeland Security to allow a Filipino woman to obtain a legal visa to work as a business analyst in one of the home health companies. Instead, when the woman came to America, she worked as a housekeeper and nanny for the couple, and they allegedly tried to force her to sign a servitude contract. The husband is also charged with paying kickbacks for patient referrals.

Indictments are just charges and defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond reasonable doubt in a court of law. Read more about this case in the Chicago Tribune article "High-rolling couple kept indentured servant, bilked taxpayers out of $45M: feds" (click here). You can also read the Department of Justice press release (click here). 

AgeOptions Ideogram


Jason B. Echols, MSW,
Health Care Consumer Protection Coordinator
1048 Lake Street, Suite 300
Oak Park, IL 60301
phone (708)383-0258 fax (708)524-0870


AgeOptions, the Area Agency on Aging of Suburban Cook County, is committed to improving the quality of life and maintaining the dignity of older adults and those who care about them - through leadership and support, community partnerships, comprehensive services, accurate information and powerful advocacy.

Fraud Alerts contain information about current scams taking place in Illinois, announcements and updates about programs or services related to health care and/or fraud protection, and links to news articles about health care and fraud topics. Please forward any recommendations or announcements that you would like to be included in a future Fraud Alert to