Category Archives: News

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: 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


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:

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.



Because we care about you and our staff, we are temporarily suspending in-person/walk-in interviews in response to the need for social distancing to stop the spread of COVID-19 known as CORONAVIRUS.

For those wishing to apply for legal assistance, please call the following numbers:
St. Croix- (340) 718-2626
St. Thomas/St. John- (340) 774-6720




During the annual VI Legislature Committee on Finance hearing, LSVI requested an additional $291,000 for its 2016 fiscal year budget. LSVI requested this additional monies to assist us in continuing to provide equal access to justice and high-quality, civil legal assistance free of cost to our client population. LSVI believes that this increase in funding is needed, reasonable, and justified. If awarded this additional funds, LSVI plans to use these funds to hire two new attorneys, to fund the necessary salary increases, and to hire a development person to initiate and coordinate fundraising activities.

Attending the meeting to discuss this increase was LSVI’s Executive Director, Richard Austin, Esq., LSVI’s Board of Trustees’ President, Trudy Fenster, Esq., LSVI’s St. Croix Office Managing Attorney and Litigation Director, Shelby King Gaddy, Esq., and LSVI’s Director of Finance and Administration, Kenneth Guye. These four persons presented to the Senate on behalf of LSVI to seek continued funding and the additional increase.

In 2014 alone, LSVI opened 1, 274 cases throughout the territory; 691 on St. Croix, and 583 on St. Thomas. In 2014, LSVI closed 1, 275 cases throughout the territory; 741 on St. Croix and 534 on St. Thomas-St. John. With this high volume of cases coming into LSVI and with its limited resources, LSVI attorneys handle 60 to 70 cases on average at any given time, in comparison to the 40 to 50 that they are allocated to be handling at a time. The Senators commended LSVI on its impressive ability to handle the amount of cases that they are handling. However, the Senators were extremely concerned about the high number of individuals in the community who meet the eligibility guidelines, but cannot receive LSVI’s services. They were equally concerned about those individuals who are slightly over the eligibility guidelines and are also unable to receive LSVI’s services. In response to those concern, LSVI’s Executive Director stated that “There are unmet needs that we have now that we are not able to serve and by increasing the eligibility level, that could possibly increase the pool of the unmet needs.”

LSVI is committed to serving the Community and endeavor to do more. The Board of Trustees through the new 5 year Strategic Plan will revisit the Program Priorities in an effort to reach more and serve more.