The Better Business Bureau is alerting elderly and disabled residents to beware of unsolicited phone calls from unscrupulous people looking to obtain Medicare or Medicaid information.
These people are asking for personal information such as Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, credit card or bank account numbers in order to provide free services such as medic alert alarms, back braces, and other products that assist the elderly and infirm and are paid for by Medicare and Medicaid.
Elderly consumers may be given any number of excuses to provide this information. Reasons used to further the scam include:
Some scammers also claim that they are from the government and are calling to update information or confirming Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security numbers in order to issue a new card.
Callers are obtaining the phone numbers of local seniors from marketing lists, phone directories and the internet in order to place the calls with the assumption that elderly residents will be in need of these services.
If the scammers obtain banking, Medicare/Medicaid or Social Security information, they could use it to commit identity theft and steal funds from accounts.
Some also call from “spoofed” phone numbers, meaning the real numbers are disguised on phones equipped with caller ID so the numbers can’t be traced.
These scammers can be very aggressive, often calling many times and at all hours of the day to wear down potential victims and can be very convincing.
The BBB recommends the following tips to avoid this scam: