June 25, 2013
A Rum Creek resident reports that they received a call regarding the issuance of new Medicare cards. The number came up as “Private,” the background was noisy, the caller had a heavy accent and spoke to someone else at his location in a foreign language.
The caller said new Medicare cards were in the process of being issued and additional information was necessary. He asked for banking information and even had the routing number for the bank mentioned.
Before giving out any information, the resident said they told the caller they wanted to verify with Medicare this process was taking place. After additional efforts to obtain the information, the caller finally hung up.
A call to Medicare confirmed new cards are not being issued, nor would Medicare ever ask for banking information.
According to a survey by the Investor Protection Trust in June of this year, over 7.3 million senior citizens aged 65 or older have been taken advantage of financially in terms of an inappropriate investment, unreasonably high fees for financial services, or outright fraud. That is 20 percent of Americans in that age range.
Other scams senior citizens should be aware of are sweepstakes and lottery scams, bereavement scams, deceptive professionals and investment and work at home opportunities.
If you receive any suspicious calls, get information from the caller, inlcuding their name, telephone number and direct supervisor. Call or research the company on the internet and if their claim is legitimate, call them back.
If the call is not legitimate, call the AARP Senior Medicare Patrol at 1-800-799-4638, or call local law enforcement.