CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - Scammers are capitalizing on Ohio’s effort to track the coronavirus spread.
Through our partnership with the Cuyahoga County Scam Squad, 19 News has learned that scammers are calling people pretending to do wellness checks.
A 77-year-old Glenville woman said she talked to one of the con artists last week.
She didn’t want to be identified in our story, after identifying herself to the possible scammer.
“He said oh we’re not trying to sell you anything, we just wanted to know how you are feeling during the pandemic," she said. “t was a person. It was not a robo call. It was a person.”
She says he was asking for a bunch of information, including the number on her medicare card.
“I gave it to him,” she said.
After that, she said he hung up, and she couldn’t get back in touch.
“When I called the number, they said that this is not a working number,” she said.
Consumer advocates say situations like this are happening more and more lately because Ohio is legitimately ramping up health contact tracing of the corona virus right now.
“[It’s] important to respond to that, but scammers are grabbing on to that,” Sheryl Harris at the Cuyhoga County Department of Consumer affairs said.
She said scammers are tricking people into believing they are conducting a study.
“People will call you and act like they are looking out for your good. ‘Hey we’re doing a health check, now give me your medicare number,’” Harris said.
Harris says that’s the tell tail sign that it’s not a legitimate heath tracer calling.
“Yes. If they contact you out of the blue and ask for personal information, like your social security number, your medicare number, a bank account number, they are a scammer,” Harris said.
Harris says the best thing to do is not engage at all.
A message the 77-year-old we talked to says she is now trying to spread, after making a report with the BBB about her experience.
“I told my two sisters because we are all seniors,” she said. “I was upset.”
If you believe you are the victim of a similar scam, you can file a report with the scam squad.
You also need to watch out for these versions of a coronavirus related scam:
- Offers to help you get stimulus payments or grants
- Threats to arrest you or seize your accounts
- Offers to help you get Coronavirus tests, cures or vaccines
- Calls or emails from sheriff, IRS or any government agency
Advocates say you should never pay or reveal private info (your Social Security or account numbers) to someone who contacts you.
Copyright 2020 WOIO. All rights reserved.
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Leaders In Hospitality & Design Share Unique Insights & Outline Key Performance Drivers For Successful Wellness Developments
On October 9, 2019, leading global architecture firm, OBM International (OBMI), hosted a Hospitality Wellness Expert Panel and art exhibition. Rika Lisslö, Hyatt Vice President of Development, Vivianne Garcia-Tunon, Wonder Flower Principal and Founder, Marianne Canero, Alma Community Founder & Executive Director, and Giovanni Medina Marenco, OBMI Associate Senior Designer, participated in the conversation at the Sacred Space Miami. Together, with moderator, K. Denaye Hinds, OBMI Director of Corporate Sustainability, who led the panel, the four experts discussed their insider outlook on health and wellness in the hospitality and real-estate industry, the trends impacting its direction and the crucial elements to consider for successfully designing wellness developments.
The sold-out event gathered over 175 professionals across the hospitality, real estate, design, development and wellness industries to hear diverse perspectives and to be inspired by illustrations of wellness concepts in the elegant venue, The Sacred Space Miami. In line with the panel’s theme, experts advised the audience on the challenges and opportunities to successfully execute wellness offerings in developments, designing for wellness beyond the spa, and the importance of investing in human capital for wellness programs.
Referencing reports from the Global Wellness Institute, the experts relayed the international wellness market grew to $4.2 trillion in 2018, and that wellness-focused tourism is fast outpacing overall tourism growth. The panel also remarked how the hospitality sector has been highly motivated to keep up with today’s wellness guest by evolving the scope of programs and developing key partnerships for membership models to deliver elevated and catered wellness activities as an opportunity for the hospitality industry to ensure a return on investment. An example shared was Hyatt’s clever acquisition of the Exhale spa chain.
Vivianne Garcia-Tunon and Giovanni Medina Marenco both remarked on the importance of weaving wellness into the design of the entire property, as well as factoring in space planning and offerings for various demographics of consumers and future generations. Both panelists agreed this all-inclusive approach would help in achieving a socially equitable and viable development.
Rika Lisslö and Marianne Canero remarked on the importance of cultivating the local labor pool and integrating the community into the wellness space when delivering a positive experience for end-users and ensuring a return on investment to stakeholders. Focusing on the wellbeing of your corporation’s employees resounded equally essential as training and educating in the wellness industry, according to panelists.
“When looking for revenue drivers, we must talk about the value proposition and take time to educate the room on how wellness will benefit the end user and the investor,” noted Rika Lisslö, Hyatt Vice President of Development. “We see wellness the way we look at internet. Without it you’re obsolete. It’s where we are now and we’re baking it into proforma. The client is everyone, and wellness is in the overall experience.”
For more information, contact Marissa Howe: [email protected] or (+1) 305-537-7100.
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