Category Archives: News

Today is National #PurpleThursday and LSVI reminds our community that we are committed to providing equal access to justice and doing our part to support victims of domestic violence. We BELIEVE you!  The #1Thing that will end domestic violence is our collective power. If you or someone you know needs help please call our office: St.Croix – 340-718-2626 | St.Thomas/St.John – 340-774-6720 #LSVI #DVAM2021

CFVI Awards Over $1.4 Million for Recovery, Revitalization and Building Forward Projects

CFVI Awards Over $1.4 Million for Recovery, Revitalization and Building Forward Projects

The Community Foundation of the Virgin Islands (CFVI) has awarded grants to 18 USVI nonprofit organizations for a total of $1,480,735 in funding. Grant funds will be used to support ongoing hurricane recovery, revitalization, and building forward efforts to enhance the wellbeing of residents and ecosystems across the territory. LSVI is the proud recipient of a  $100,00 grant from CFVI. Funding will support the deployment of additional legal resources via Mobile Justice Units in and around St. Thomas and St. Croix in order to bolster ongoing disaster recovery along with efforts to enhance the overall wellbeing of low-income residents, including seniors, and victims of domestic violence. Click here for more information.

LSVI Says #NOMORE to Domestic Violence

Domestic violence was already an epidemic before COVID-19, but the health crisis has caused a tremendous spike in incidents of abuse. Even as lockdown restrictions are lifted, the abuse will not simply end. It remains a critical time for survivors, and greater awareness, education, and bystander intervention are desperately needed. This October, join us in activating bystanders and sharing information that can help those who are experiencing violence during this unprecedented time.

 

VI SMP Joins Task Force

VI-SMP Joins Virgin Islands Health Care Fraud Task Force

Federal and local law enforcement and health care officials came together last year to form the Virgin Islands Health Care Fraud Task Force. The task force was formed in order to join forces and strengthen the fight against health care fraud by using a collaborative approach. In a news release issued Monday, Shappert said the first meeting of the Virgin Islands Health Care Fraud Task Force was conducted on a virtual platform, permitting the participants to share information and develop strategies for the territory.

The task force is composed of representatives from the U.S. Attorney’s Office; Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS); Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI); U.S. Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General (HHS-OIG); V.I. Justice Department (DOJ); V.I. Medicaid Program (MAP), Senior Medicare Patrol (VI-SMP), Disability Rights Center, (DRCVI), Veterans Affairs Office of Community Care, and the V.I. State Health Insurance Program (VI-SHIP).

Click here for more information.

Census 2020 Scams

Census fraud can hit at home or at work (the Census Bureau conducts business-related surveys, too). Be especially watchful for impostors in the spring of 2020, when the actual Census Bureau will be sending out reminders to fill out your form and following up in person at households that don’t respond. (Plans for home visits may be affected by the coronavirus outbreak; check the 2020 Census website for developments.) Count on these tips to head off census scams.

 

Warning Signs

 
  • You get an unsolicited email purporting to be from the Census Bureau. For household surveys and the decennial Census, the agency almost always makes contact by mail.
  • A supposed census agent asks you for money or financial data, such as the number of and amount in your bank account.
  • A supposed census taker threatens you with arrest. Taking part in the Census is required by law, and you can be fined for not doing so, but you can’t be imprisoned.
If you suspect fraud, call 844-330-2020 to speak with a Census Bureau representative. If it is determined that the visitor who came to your door does not work for the Census Bureau, contact the Virgin Islands Police Department. You can also report suspected scams to the Virgin Islands Census 2020 office at 340-718-2020 or via email: usvi@census2020.gov and to the Federal Trade Commission (online or at 877-382-4357).  

Fraud Surrounding COVID-19 Increasing

SMP-VI COVID-19 Fraud Press Release- – 03252020

Fraud surrounding Covid-19 is increasing

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St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands  – As the number of people and communities affected by the COVID-19 pandemic grows, so do the scams associated with it. Scammers use public health emergencies as opportunities for new fraud schemes, and because older adults are at greater risk for serious illness from COVID-19, they may target older populations.

“There is currently no FDA-approved vaccine for COVID-19 and although there may be treatments for symptoms, there is no ‘cure.’ However, scammers often use fear-based tactics to convince people that a vaccine or cure is now being offered,” said Aimeé Griles, Project Director of the Virgin Islands Senior Medicare Patrol (VI-SMP).

It’s also important to remember that although the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Virgin Islands Department of Health and other public health officials may contact you if they believe you may have been exposed to the virus, they will not need to ask you for insurance or financial information.

The Senior Medicare Patrol (SMP) recommends that Medicare beneficiaries:

  • Contact your own doctor if you are experiencing potential symptoms of COVID-19.
  • Do not give out your Medicare number, Social Security number, or personal information in response to unsolicited calls, texts, emails, home visits, or booths at health fairs and other public venues. If your personal information is compromised, it may be used in other fraud schemes as well.
  • Be suspicious of anyone going door-to-door to offer free coronavirus or COVID-19 testing, supplies, or treatments.
  • Carefully review your Medicare Summary Notice (MSN) or Explanation of Benefits (EOB), looking for errors or claims for products or services that weren’t received.
  • Follow the instructions of the Virgin Islands government officials for other actions you should be taking in response to COVID-19.
  • Contact the VI-SMP for help. SMPs empower and assist Medicare beneficiaries, their families, and caregivers to prevent, detect, and report health care fraud, errors, and abuse.

The Virgin Islands Senior Medicare Patrol (VI-SMP) is ready to provide you with the information you need to PROTECT yourself from Medicare fraud, errors, and abuse; DETECT potential fraud, errors, and abuse; and REPORT your concerns. SMPs help educate and empower Medicare beneficiaries in the fight against health care fraud. Your SMP can help you with your questions, concerns, or complaints about potential fraud and abuse issues. It also provides information and educational presentations. To locate the local Senior Medicare Patrol office, contact Aimeé Griles at 1-877-784-0228 or via email: agriles@legalservicesvi.org.

About Legal Services of the Virgin Islands, Inc.: Legal Services is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization and the only entity in the U.S. Virgin Islands that provides effective, efficient, and free high-quality civil legal assistance to low income and underserved individuals in our community.

 

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