Scam artists are always at work, and the latest con, is yet another attempt to swindle money from senior citizens.
The tactics are pretty standard – in this case the caller falsely claims to be an Medicare employee and they start off by asking seemingly innocent questions such as “what is your mailing address” – however, the questions quickly move into dangerous territory, with the caller claiming they are merely “confirming” your identity – at that point, they ask for either your social security number or bank account number.
Once they have that information they can make unauthorized deductions from your bank account or run up debts in a variety of ways – all in your name.
There are a few simple rules to remember if anyone attempts to gain private information over the phone – regardless of your age:
1. Never ever give out any personal information to an unsolicited caller. Any legitimate company or Medicare representative will not request personal financial information over the phone.
2. Pressure to “act now” is a red flag. If a caller says it’s a “one time offer”, or attempts to coerce consumers with a certain deadline – don’t fall for it.
3. Hang up as soon as the call becomes suspicious. All consumers should trust their instincts; if a caller is speaking too fast and refuses to slow down, repeat themselves, or answer questions – it’s likely to be a scam.
4. If in doubt attempt to get the caller’s information and call the company or Medicare or research them on-line. Ask for the caller’s name, phone number and extension and the name of their direct supervisor. If the caller does turn out to be legitimate seniors can call them back. If they refuse to give you the information you’re asking for – they’re not legitimate.
Remember – when you receive a telephone call from someone trying to obtain information – stay alert and never let your guard down. Legitimate companies will never attempt to gather personal, private information over the phone.
When in doubt – simply hang up.