LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - A small mistake put a woman at risk of identity theft when a phony caller got her to hand over personal information.
The caller told her they were with Medicare and seemed convincing. She gave them her birth date and Social Security Number.
“It’s terrible that we have people like this out there," says Peggy, who asked that we not use her last name. “It makes me feel, you know, how could I fall into that?”
She says she always knew not to stay on the phone if the caller seemed suspicious, but she says this time, she was in pain and was convinced by the caller that she would be getting a knee brace after giving her information.
“I did give it to them,” says Peggy. “I didn’t get a knee brace or anything or any information in the mail about it or anything.”
Peggy says she now worries about the risk of identity theft.
“Just to beware of callers, always be aware of what could be on the other end of the phone,” says Peggy. “Hang up on them.”
Angie Herr, with the Calcasieu Council on Aging, says these kinds of scam calls occur every day in the elderly community.
“There are people out to get them and they need to be aware of what’s going on,” says Herr. “Social Security, the IRS, Medicare; they have your information already. They are not going to be calling you. They would send you something through the mail. They’re not going to just randomly call you.”
Herr says to also be careful when giving out your phone numbers because some companies distribute them.
“They can call us if they have questions and we’d be happy to assist them,” says Herr.