Serra-Subaru-Benzie-Meals-Event_11-2-17 (1)

BEWARE of NEW TELEPHONE SCAM

A telephone scam in which crooks alter caller ID to make it seem as if the call is coming from the HHS OIG Hotline 1-800-HHS-TIPS (1-800-447-8477) to get beneficiaries and members of the public to verify or share personal info which is used to victimize them via financial and other crimes – draining their bank accounts. OIG wants the public to know that HHS OIG will not use the HHS OIG Hotline telephone number to make outgoing calls and individuals should not answer calls from 1-800-HHS-TIPS (1-800-447-8477).

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of Inspector General (OIG) recently confirmed that the HHS OIG Hotline telephone number is being used as part of a telephone spoofing scam targeting individuals throughout the country. These scammers represent themselves as HHS OIG Hotline employees and can alter the appearance of the caller ID to make it seem as if the call is coming from the HHS OIG Hotline 1-800-HHS-TIPS (1-800-447-8477). The perpetrator may use various tactics to obtain or verify the victim’s personal information, which can then be used to steal money from an individual’s bank account or for other fraudulent activity. HHS OIG takes this matter seriously. We are actively investigating this matter and intend to have the perpetrators prosecuted.

It is important to know that HHS OIG will not use the HHS OIG Hotline telephone number to make outgoing calls and individuals should not answer calls from 1-800-HHS-TIPS (1-800-447-8477). We encourage the public to remain vigilant, protect their personal information, and guard against providing personal information during calls that purport to be from the HHS OIG Hotline telephone number. We also remind the public that it is still safe to call into the HHS OIG Hotline to report fraud.  We particularly encourage those who believe they may have been a victim of the telephone spoofing scam to report that information to us through the HHS OIG Hotline 1-800-HHS-TIPS (1-800-447-8477) or spoof@oig.hhs.gov. Individuals may also file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357).

Also – here’s the link to our Consumer Alerts webpage if you’d like to share that: https://oig.hhs.gov/fraud/consumer-alerts/alerts/phone-scam.asp

 

Benzie County Council on Aging merges with Benzie Home Health Care

HONOR, MICHIGAN – Nearly 32 percent of the population of Benzie County will benefit from a merger of two nonprofit organizations announced today. Benzie County Council on Aging (BCCOA) and Benzie Home Health Care legally merged to form a new nonprofit organization, Benzie Senior Resources, effective October 5, 2016. The new organization will be led by Douglas Durand, former Executive Director of the BCCOA.

The mission of Benzie Senior Resources is to provide exceptional services, resources and trusted care to support Benzie seniors. Benzie Senior Resources exists to enrich the lives of all Benzie seniors by identifying focused priorities designed to maximize resources to meet community needs. The staff, volunteers and Board are committed to providing services, resources and creative, innovative leadership in order to make Benzie County a livable, age-friendly community that promotes senior dignity and independence.

“The Board, staff and volunteers of both organizations are excited and enthused about completing the merger process to streamline and strengthen programs and services that support up to 5,800 senior citizens currently living in Benzie County,” said Durand. “By joining forces to form Benzie Senior Resources, we are combining the talent and expertise of both nonprofit organizations to offer a complete menu of resources to the entire senior population through one organization. This comprehensive and integrated delivery of services is designed to increase the ability of seniors in Benzie County to stay in their homes while improving their quality of life, health and safety, nutrition and social support systems.

“It’s a true win-win for seniors and all of us who are passionate about our senior population,” said Benzie Senior Resources Board member, Nancy Call. “Both organizations understood the benefits of merging from the outset. It was a smooth process and the real beneficiaries are our growing population of seniors. Whether it is home care help, home delivered meals, special events or responding to the circumstances of an individual, all services of both organizations will come together through Benzie Senior Resources.”

Durand stated that Benzie Senior Resources has combined the talent from both organizations resulting in 16 board members, 25 staff and a combined budget of approximately $1,582,776. “Complete alignment of both organizations requires thoughtful planning and time,” commented Douglas Durand. Over the next few months the organizations will become fully integrated with plans to launch the new logo, website and informational materials in early 2017.

“This merger will result in greater efficiency and better outcomes for seniors in Benzie County, stated former Director of Benzie Home Health Care, Mary Dykstra. So much of what the two organizations were working for independently was aligned. As one organization there is an increased level of expertise and cohesive service delivery. I am confident that with the leadership of Douglas Durand, commitment of staff and continued involvement of volunteers and supporters, Benzie Senior Resources will build a better community for all seniors.”

The merger process was coordinated by a Northsky Nonprofit Network consultant team that included Tim Ervin, Jen Booher and attorney Kate Redman. Northsky Nonprofit was created by Rotary Charities of Traverse City to provide support services for nonprofit organizations and is under the direction of Program Director, Becky Ewing.

Please contact Benzie Senior Resources Executive Director, Douglas Durand at 231- 525-0600 for information about services and programs.

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. On October 21st Wear pink (yes, men too!) whether it’s your whole outfit, a ribbon, socks, hat, bracelet or lipstick. Let’s show our support!

October is Fire Prevention Month

October is Fire Prevention Month. We’ll have information on how to prevent fires by recognizing potential hazards. With the weather changing our furnaces, wood stoves, electric heaters and propane tanks will be back on and we sometimes need a safety refresher.

Government Imposter Scams

Government Imposter Scams

August 3, 2016

My Consumer Protection Division reports receiving several contacts from businesses asking about a suspicious email pretending to be from “The Office of The Attorney General.” The email in question is bogus and its attachment should not be opened; recipients should delete it.

I am issuing the attached Government Imposter Scams Consumer Alert to warn Michiganders about this and similar scams.

The alert is also available on the Attorney General’s website (www.mi.gov/ag).

BILL SCHUETTE
ATTORNEY GENERAL
STATE OF MICHIGAN