Friday, July 8, 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:

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 a story about two Illinois doctors charged in the largest health care fraud takedown, a new FTC video on a Medicare scam, and an AARP article on scammers targeting pet lovers.


Have a great weekend!

Illinois Doctors Face Charges from June Health Care Fraud Takedown

In our last Fraud Alert, we talked about the June 22nd federal government health care fraud takedown, the nation's largest single health care fraud sweep. Here is more information about two physicians in Illinois that were charged with fraud as part of that takedown. 

One doctor in Buffalo Grove is charged with accepting $300 cash kickbacks for each patient he referred to home health agencies. A second doctor in Skokie was charged with submitting false medical information to qualify patients for federal disability benefits when they were not eligible for them. Read more in this U.S. Department of Justice press release.
Common Medicare Scam Showcased in New Video from FTC

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) just released a new video featuring a woman who received a call from scammers claiming to be from Medicare. The scammers said they needed her information in order to give her a new Medicare card, which is a common scam that continues to affect people today. Watch the full video on the FTC blog

As this video shows, scams can happen to anyone. If you have Medicare, you are a target for scammers. Remember that Medicare never calls you for personal information (they already have it). And remember that if you are scammed, you should not be embarrassed, but just like Dr. Bowers in the video, you should report what happened to you. In Illinois, you can call the Illinois SMP at AgeOptions and report health care fraud at
When Scammers Use Pets to Scam You

If you've ever been a pet owner, you know that there is a special bond between humans and their pets. Scammers want to play on your love for pets. In the AARP article "Protect Yourself and Your Dog From Pet Scams," Sid Kirchheimer presents several pet-related scams, including dognapping and animal charity scams. 

If you are looking to adopt a pet or donate to an animal welfare organization, do your research first. As the article points out, you should investigate any charity before donating money. has a list of animal welfare organizations where you can adopt cats or dogs. Even with this list, it is best to do some research on the organization to make sure they are legitimate.

Remember that anyone can be a target of a scam because scammers play on emotions, including our love for our cats and dogs.

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