Doug Ommen

The Iowa Insurance Division is beginning a series of Fraud Fighting webinars Wednesday featuring at topics to help older Iowans.

Insurance Commissioner Doug Ommen says his office has held informational sessions for several years. “To talk to people, to educate them on how they can go about protecting themselves as well as their neighbors from fraud,” he says. “Due to social distancing requirements this year, we’ve kind of taken it upon ourselves to find new ways by which to do that, and that is the idea behind these webinars.”

The first webinar Wednesday (July 15) from 1-2 p.m. will include information on Medicare. He says the scammers have not let up in this area. “And its really important that seniors and older Iowans understand that so they can help be alert to what it is that can happen — and then to also assist us in law enforcement to identify those frauds,” Ommen says.

This webinar will also include information on how to avoid financial abuse. “Many older Iowans as they get along in years, they look for people around them to try to help them with some of the decisions that need to be made,” according to Ommen. “And that sometimes includes executions of powers of attorney and appointment of guardians and others to assist them.”

Ommen encourages seniors to join online and share their stories. “Some of the best meetings that we’ve had — and we hope to replicate that again in these webinars — is to give older Iowans the opportunity to participate in a conversation and essentially educate each other as to what is going on,” Ommen says. He says it can be helpful to learn from others and know that you are not alone in your concerns.

You can sign up to participate at IowaFraudFighters.gov. The other seminars are July 22nd, 10–11 a.m., and it focuses on consumer scams online. On July 29th from noon to 1 p.m. there is a webinar for family members or other caregivers of Iowa seniors and provides tips for caregivers to recognize the red flags of Medicare fraud and investment scams