Scammers Preying on Confusion Over Health Care Changes

Scam artists are taking advantage of changes in health care and open enrollment for those on Medicare in an attempt to steal from senior citizens. Indiana Senior Medicare Patrol Program Director Nancy Stone says current Medicare beneficiaries should not be getting calls about signing up for health care plans.

“What we always tell them is to just hang up. Don’t give out any personal information. Medicare will never call you. ‘Cause that’s what they say – sometimes they say they’re from Medicare – they want to confirm their information,” said Stone.

Stone warns the callers will use high-pressure tactics on the telephone in an attempt to get information.

“The purpose is to get your financial identity, because, as you know, your Medicare number is your Social Security number. So, if they have that plus your bank account number, they can just go to town,” said Stone.

Stone urges seniors who are targeted by scammers to get in touch with Senior Medicare Patrol to help with investigating the scam and get the information to the Federal Trade Commission.

“We tell them to call their bank right away or go to the bank. And then also, we can call 1-800-Medicare with them – or they can call on their own. And they can report to the FTC – the FTC really wants to know about this as well,” said Stone.

Hoosier seniors can call their Area Agency on Aging at 800-986-3505 if they have been targeted by a scam – and be directed to Senior Medicare Patrol.