Senior Report: Medicare scams

By Theresa Schmidt - bio | email

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - The Better Business Bureau warns frauds targeting seniors is growing.

At the Better Business Bureau they frequently field calls from senior citizens who have been contacted by someone who claims they are calling about Medicare. Director Carmen Million says they usually want personal information. "They'll say that they need to update their medical information or they will tell them there is a problem with their Medicare. And of course what the caller is requesting is that the consumer give them their Medicare number which we all know is your social security number," she explains.

Million says many seniors are so trusting they become a victim.  "The consumer, being a senior citizen, believes that it is medicare and in most cases will give that number. Course what it turns out is one of two things. It's either a company trying to fish, doing what we call a phishing scam where they're trying to phish for your information or it is a company trying to sell that consumer some insurance."

She says the consequences can cause serious problems. "In some cases the insurance they are selling cancels out Medicare."

If you want to see phone solicitors and scam artist quit calling Million says don't give them what they want which is generally your personal information. She  urges seniors to ask questions and tell them you will call back and verify they are who they say they are. "You should ask for their name, address, phone number question them. Hang up the phone, look up the number, for the IRS or the Medicare agency or the BBB and contact them directly and ask if they are requesting that information.

It's important to remember that the crooks will say anything to trick you into revealing information that could cause you to become a victim.  For more information call 478 6253 or outside the Lake area 1-800-542-7085. Or click here for the BBB web site.

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