SERS Security Alert
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Medicare Premium Nonsense – You may have heard that the Medicare Part “B” Premium is increasing thanks to the new health care laws that have passed. The new premium is not yet announced by Medicare but IT IS NOT $247.00 as suggested by some scare articles. Estimates from Medicare indicate nominal increases should be expected for 2013 and 2014. In similar articles a statement is made that real estate transactions in 2012 and future will require homeowners to pay 3.8% tax on the transaction. This statement is false.
Affordable Care Act Scam – No one will contact you for information via phone, email or other. Do not give out any information to anyone unless you are able to verify the request.
Banking – Customers and non-customers of banks have reported receiving fraudulent text messages about their debit cards and requesting information. The text messages advise the recipients to vall and provide confidential information in order to unblock or re-activate the debit card. DO NOT RESPOND TO THESE MESSAGES! If you have any questions about your banking and accounts you should contact your bank directly.
Banking – (ACH Transactions scam) – An email is sent to you stating that there is a problem with your last ACH transaction. They ask for more information to correct the problem. Please check with your bank directly on any potential problems and this will save you any interactions with someone who may not be who they say they are. IRS Scam – Emails are sent indicating that they need more information to process your taxes. The IRS never contacts you via email.
Unclaimed Funds Scam – Ohioans have been warned by the Director of Ohio Dept. of Commerce regarding an e-mail scam telling the recipient that they have international unclaimed funds worth millions in cash. The e-mails look legitimate as most scams. If an e-mail recipient responds, they are directed to contact an overseas attorney. The Division of Unclaimed Funds would not direct a claims recipient to a third party, charge fees to claim funds, or request bank account information. If you should receive such an e-mail your are encouraged to delete it or report it to the Internet Crime Complaint Center at www.ie3.gov. For those who may have unclaimed funds you may search the Ohio Division of Unclaimed Funds at www.com.ohio.gov/unfd/TreasureHunt.aspx or contact them at Ohio Dept. of Commerce, Division of Unclaimed Funds, 77 South High Street, 20th Floor, Columbus, Ohio 43215. (July 2011)
Grandparents scam – The Ohio Attorney General has issued warnings about callers that attempt to get funds released to them pretending to be stranded grandchildren. If you are concerned about the safety of your family just contact them directly. most likely you will find that they are safe and sound. Anyone who is requesting financial or other personal information from you should be verified or confirmed before you proceed, if at all.
Medicare Part “D’ rebate checks – Warnings are being released for Seniors with regard to rebate checks for some Seniors. A rebate check is automatically sent directly through the mail for eligible Seniors under the Part D program after reaching a specific level of spending for drugs. Seniors are warned that scammers are requesting your personal information to assist you in getting your rebate check more quickly. As in all cases, if anyone asks you for your personal information (Medicare, Social Security, banking) for any reason, ask for their contact information to call them back and report them to the authorities immediately. Some SERS retirees and spouses have already received their checks.
Jury Duty Scam – Callers identify themselves as officials of the courts and state that you have not made appearance for a scheduled jury duty time. Callers indicate there is a warrant out and they can assist you if you provide them with specific information.. DO NOT GIVE ANYONE your personal information.
Census Scam – Again, do not give any callers or respond to any emails with any personal information. If you are contacted at your home do not hesitate to confirm the identity of any caller.
Economic Stimulus Recovery Payments: You will not be contacted by email or phone with regard to these payments. If you are contacted please DO NOT GIVE ANY INFORMATION to the caller. You will not be able to receive your payments any faster by giving out information and the IRS does not communicate with members on the internet or over the phone. Unless you know the person calling, NEVER give out personal or financial information.
Medical Mutual potential loss of data (Oct 23, 2008) Members shall be
receiving letters on their status in this matter.
Express Scripts has issued a Press Release regarding stolen data during 2005 and 2006. None of the School Employee Retirees information is reported to be on the stolen data.
Better Business Bureau releases information regarding scam with registering software. (Oct. 2008)
Federal Withholding changes – You may have noticed that your pension check was changed in February of 2011. This is due to a credit that had been incorporated into the 2009 and 2010 tables that had expired for 2011. If you wish to change the amount you have withheld from your pension check, please contact SERS for a form to fill out. Please contact your tax advisor for information on your personal plan for taxes and if you have questions on if or how much you should withhold.
Social Services Coordinators – SERS has partnered with a company to provide assistance for School Employee retirees with regard to Medicare savings programs. This company will provide retirees help in determining if they qualify and direction to any programs that may help them with premium, co-pay and deductible costs. Retirees may also receive a call from this agency to help determine if they would qualify for any helpful programs. You may ask about this and other programs through SERS, please call 1-800-878-5853.