Elder Options is notifying the community of a scam that uses its phone numbers to gather credit card information from local seniors.
The numbers scammers are using include the Elder Helpline 1-800-262-2243 and its 352-378-6649 office phone number.
These scammers are misrepresenting Elder Options to seniors and community partners, the organization said. In a press statement the Elder Options stated that it will never ask for payment information.
The phone lines are operational, but Elder Options suggested that if you suspect a scammer has contacted you, hang up immediately.
“We found out late Thursday,” said Katina Mustipher, CEO of Elder Options. “We got a strange call from a person who called the 1-800 number upset that they had received a call from someone who had our number and had them for payment. We do not call seniors asking for payment at all. We knew something wasn’t right.”
Elder Options worked with its IT department to make sure there were no data breaches or vulnerabilities on its website. Elder Options client data has not been breached, and its website remains fully functional.
“I would advise to be really vigilant in terms of your personal information,” Mustipher said. “Do not share financial information if you have not already had a relationship with that company and actually had some type of payment arrangement. Always just be leery and protective of all of your information, not only their financial information, but even your name, address and phone number.”
Elder Options was established in 1977 as a not-for-profit organization whose mission is to ensure that communities have a trusted and unbiased place to turn for information, resources and assistance for seniors and disabled adults.
If you believe you provided payment information to someone claiming to be Elder Options, the organization encourages you to reach out so the Elder Options team can help you deal with the problem.
Editor’s note: This story has been updated.