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Senior Medicare Patrol Helps Seniors Avoid Scams, Through Fraud BingoDate: 07/23/2018
Darwina Edwards is the Division of Aging, Adult, and Behavior Health Services Arkansas Senior Medicare Patrol (SMP) program coordinator. She recruits volunteers, works to build relationships with volunteers, and schedules activities at senior centers and senior communities that promote fraud awareness. One of those activities is Fraud Bingo. It teaches senior citizens about Medicare regulations and potential scams while playing bingo.
DHS Matters: What are the rules of Fraud Bingo?
Edwards: It’s similar to regular bingo instead of B-I-N-G-O across the top of the playing card, it has F-R-A-U-D. Players receive a card and a pile of white beans. There’s an X on the free spot, and we start out by saying, ‘You may place a bean on the free spot. Nothing is free if you’re asked for your Medicare number’. Players can bingo in any direction, and we also do a coverall. Some of the spots on the board are: new card scam, protect your Medicare number like a credit card number, thief, fight fraud, and Medicare & You. After playing, these folks have heard an entire Medicare fraud presentation that kept them engaged.
DHS Matters: How do people react to Fraud Bingo?
Edwards: Our senior citizens love bingo! Some want to play more than one card. They love this style of learning because it’s fun. We ask questions at the end to make sure they all fully understand the information shared during the game. Players get prizes for correct answers, and we also give Medicare fraud information to each player.
DHS Matters: Do players see the significance of Fraud Bingo?
Edwards: For starters, seniors appreciate something meaningful to do. They’re also surprised at how much fun it is learning while playing. And we always have people come to us at the end of the presentation wanting to share with us some instance of them being scammed.
Caption: Senior citizens play a game of Fraud Bingo led by Kathleen Pursell (standing) Division of Aging, Adult, and Behavior Health Services Arkansas Senior Medicare Patrol program director.