|A local 86-year old woman received a call supposedly from Medicare. The caller informed her that he was summoned by Senator Richard Lugar to stop by and explain some Medicare benefits to her. He wanted to set up an appointment to come by her house. BBB was contacted by this woman’s concerned daughter.
Medicare is NOT randomly coming by people’s homes to explain benefits. It may be believable that with upcoming elections that an official Such as Senator Lugar with a high profile name might provide such a service. This simply isn’t happening and people need to be aware.
The other sad reality here is a senior, living alone, with the thought of some unknown coming to her home to take advantage of her financially or worse is terrifying. Seniors are vulnerable and educating them is vital. This is a threat and the individuals making the calls know their vulnerability, exploiting them to obtain personal and financial information.
What can you do? Educate elderly friends and family members not to give personal and financial information over the phone. Even caller ID can be vulnerable. Frauds have the technology to disguise a phone number or make it appear as “unknown.” Simply stated, if you don’t recognize a number on caller ID, don’t pick up the phone. When frauds suspect victim vulnerability, they will call repeatedly, with the intent of rattling their victim so much that the victim may give in to requests simply to get them to stop calling.
How to keep them from calling is difficult. One possibility is changing a phone number if the harassing continues. Another is screening calls. A report can be made to the Unlawful Call Center with your local telephone company to place blocks on certain calls and trace calls. Unfortunately, most of these calls are coming from outside the country, where criminal perpetrators go untouched by American laws. Frauds will use throw away cell phones or computer-generated calls, making them difficult to trace. Criminals know this so they continue the calls.
While officials running for office are not sending Medicare employees to the homes of the elderly to explain benefits, maybe they or other constituents can get the word out that there is a problem and then help find a solution to stop this terrible and costly harassing.