Ryan Scott Ottney
PDT Staff Writer
The Area Agency on Aging District 7 (AAA7) issued a warning this week after learning that individuals in Lawrence and Scioto Counties are knocking on doors and fraudulently claiming to be representatives of the AAA7.
Agency spokesperson Jenni Dovyak-Lewis said the AAA7 office in Wheelersburg has been notified of at least three questionable incidents last month — two in Lawrence County and one in the city of Portsmouth. One caller reported that the woman at their door claimed to be with the “Area on Aging,” but Dovyak-Lewis said she doesn’t know what they asked the homeowner.
According to AAA7, all official AAA7 representatives carry identification stating that they work for the agency, and any visits to the home are scheduled beforehand. The AAA7 does not make unannounced visits. Initial visits to an individual’s home to discuss long-term care options and resources are always scheduled by a community individual through a call directly to the AAA7.
The AAA7 provides the offers further advice:
• Do not allow anyone in your home if the individual cannot provide proper identification such as an employee name badge. If the individual claims they are from the Area Agency on Aging, but it does not appear they are or they cannot provide the proper identification, please call the agency to confirm – the agency can be reached Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. by calling 1-800-582-7277.
“If somebody does say that they’re from the Area Agency on Aging, obviously we want them to ask for some identification because our staff is willing to present them with some identification. If even after they are still not comfortable, just give our agency a call and we can confirm that,” Dovyak-Lewis said.
• AAA7 staff that visit homes for assessments gather personal information for referral purposes and will provide the consumer with a release of information form for signature and an AAA7 Statement of Privacy Practices.
• As mentioned previously, AAA7 staff will not show up unannounced for an initial appointment. If someone comes to your home, unannounced, and claims to be a representative for the AAA7, chances are they are an impostor. You should ask the individual to leave your home and report to your local law enforcement. Be sure to report the description of the person and their vehicle.
• If an individual receives a call from the AAA7, an employee name and call back number will always be presented to the consumer.
“If they’re feeling like it’s somebody that’s an impostor, then we are suggesting that they give their local law enforcement a call and try to give a description. And if they can see the vehicle that maybe that have come in from, then give that description as well,” Dovyak-Lewis said.
The AAA7 is a non-profit corporation that helps coordinate programs to help older adults and those with disabilities live safely and independently at home or in their community through long-term care home and community-based options. The agency provides services in Adams, Brown, Gallia, Highland, Jackson, Lawrence, Pike, Ross, Scioto and Vinton counties. The AAA7’s Aging and Disability Resource Center provides assistance and answers questions regarding long-term care options and resources.
For more information, call 1-800-582-7277 (TTY: 711) or e-mail email@example.com. The Agency also has a Facebook page at www.facebook.com/AreaAgencyOnAgingDistrict7.
Ryan Scott Ottney can be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 287, or firstname.lastname@example.org. For breaking news, follow Ryan on Twitter @PDTwriter.