Senior citizens and local resident with older parents received tips today on how to avoid being a victim of fraud.
The Oklahoma Insurance Department's Medicare Assistance Program went to Durant Wednesday. They've been traveling around the state to educate seniors.
Sandra Weaver takes care of her parents' finances and medicare. She said she learned a lot today about where to turn if they suspect something suspicious.
"There's just a lot out there," she said. "And there's things that I could see getting past me, that I just don't want happen to them."
John Slice said some friends of his recently got a fraudulent phone call - luckily, they knew it was a fake. But not everyone knows how to spot it.
"I really think the growth of the fraud that's happening is scary to me," Slice said. "How it's increasing in the amount that is going on, not just nickel/dime stuff, but big dollar amounts."
Ray Walker, Oklahoma Medicare Assistance Program divisional director, said senior citizens become victims far too often.
"Seniors are the perfect target for fraudsters - they tend to be a little more easy to approach and to get to believe what they are saying, because they come from a generation that trusted people," he said. "They did business on a handshake."
Walker advises seniors never to give information out over the phone or buy anything from an unsolicited caller. And he said never give out your medicare number.
"It's as good as a credit card in the hands of the right person," he said. "They can use that number to charge thousands and thousands of dollars to the medicare system."
And Slice said the way scammers can easily run up a bill that's most worrisome.
"Even though we're not the direct victims of fraud, how much the fraud is costing us because of what we're having to pay, the additional amount - for instance the additional taxes we're paying and the additional medicare expenses that we're paying - because other people are the victims of fraud," he said.