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Seniors warned

By Staff | Apr 17, 2013

Tyler County’s senior citizens should be on the lookout of a possible scam regarding the Lighthouse Program.

The Lighthouse program is a service provided by the West Virginia Bureau of Senior Services that is designed to assist seniors 60 years old and up who have functional needs in their home, but their income or assets disqualify them for Medicaid Services.

Commissioner of the West Virginia Bureau of Senior Services Robert Edwin Roswall received information that someone is going into seniors’ homes and telling them they are eligible for the program. While in the home, they are obtaining personal information, including social security numbers and banking information.

While no instances have been reported in the Tyler County area, seniors should still be aware of the scam.

Both Tyler County Coordinator of the Lighthouse Program Kathy Smith and Tyler County Seniors Director Amy Haught confirmed that the Tyler County Senior Citizens will never go door to door to solicit the program.

A senior interested in the program has to call the center and schedule an actual face-to-face visit. If they have not requested the service, then they would not be contacted, especially at their home by anyone actually affiliated with the service.

Smith said that while she is the coordinator of the program, she is unable to actually sign a senior up for the service. This can only be done by an actual registered nurse.

Haught’s advice for seniors is to ask for identification before speaking to anyone who states that they are from a senior center or other agency and know that they will never ask for social security numbers or banking information.

Any information of fraudulant activity regarding the Lighthouse Program can be reported to the Tyler County Sheriff’s Department at 304-758-4229.