SACRAMENTO, Ca., June 12, 2013 – Better Business Bureau Serving Northeast California urges Tuolumne County residents to hang up on callers claiming to be from Medicare after a Jamestown woman reportedly received a suspicious phone call claiming a new Medicare card was issued to her.
The caller contacted the woman from a blocked number stating that before her card arrived, she needed to set up direct deposit for her Medicare funds.
“He already had my routing number and rattled it right off,” said the woman. “After that he asked me for my account number. He was very smooth; you could tell he had a lot of practice with this.”
Seniors nationwide have reported similar scams to BBB. Callers may also ask for the consumer’s Medicare card number, which is often the consumer’s social security number. Medicare
does not call consumers collecting personal information.
“If anyone calls asking for your bank account numbers or social security number, hang up,” said Gary Almond, president of BBB Serving Northeast California. “If you think the call may be legitimate, look up the phone number for the agency in the phone book or online. Call them at the listed number to check out any offers or claims made by callers. Do not give bank account or social security numbers to unsolicited callers.”
BBB offers the following tips to avoid Medicare card fraud and identity theft:
- Do not give personal information to unknown individuals over the phone, particularly to individuals claiming to represent Medicare, Medical or the Social Security Administration.
- Be wary of anyone offering “free” devices or services in exchange for your Medicare number.
- Never sign blank Medicare insurance forms.
- Do not carry your Medicare card in your wallet. If the card is lost or stolen, the information can be used to commit identity theft.
Media: For consumer contact information, contact Cailin Peterson at 916-307-4199.
As a business-supported nonprofit organization, Better Business Bureau's mission is to promote an ethical marketplace. BBB sets standards for ethical business behavior, helps consumer identify reliable businesses through BBB Business Reviews, sets standards for truthful advertising, evaluates and provides reviews of charities, educates consumers, and offers dispute resolution services. In 2012, consumers relied on BBB 124 million times for Business Reviews, consumer tips and scam alerts. To learn more, please visit www.necal.bbb.org