Phishing Calls Target Seniors

April 29, 2013
Kansas City, MO - At least one area consumer was contacted by a man who said he needed personal information to send her a new Medicaid card. The man on the phone asked for the potential victim's bank account number and Social Security Number. The woman refused and immediately reported the incident to the Better Business Bureau.

The man asked what bank the consumer used, and when told, he looked up and recited the bank's routing number, which can give consumers the impression of authority. In fact, a bank's routing number can be obtained with a simple internet search.

Victims of this scam might be given any number of excuses to provide this information, whether it is an error that needs to be fixed, that he or she is part of a survey or eligible to receive free products or, as in this case, the consumer needs an updated Medicaid card.

Medicare or Medicaid will not call consumers to update information or issue new cards.

The BBB recommends the following tips to avoid this scam:


  • Never give out personal information over the phone, especially if it is from an unsolicited caller. If consumers receive suspicious phone calls, they should hang up immediately.
  • Remind elderly family members that Medicare will never call to ask for sensitive personal financial information. If you suspect fraud contact your BBB, local police or consumer protection agency, such as the Attorney General's Office.
  • Ask your medical providers what they will charge and how much you’ll have to pay out-of-pocket.
  • Carefully review your insurer's explanation of benefits statement. Call your insurer and provider if you have questions.
  • Don’t do business with door-to-door or telephone salespeople who tell you that medical services or equipment are free.
  • Give your insurance/Medicare identification only to those who have provided you with medical services.
  • Keep accurate records of all health care appointments.