Be alert to Medicare scam artists

Monday October 15, 2012

If you receive a phone call from Medicare, hang up the phone. Medicare does not call you, it always sends a letter.

A local woman recently re ceived a call from a man claiming to be from Medicare and told her Medicare has free supplies for people with joint problems, and this lady like most elderly have these concerns. He said all he needed was her name, address, phone number and Social Security number and he would send these supplies to her. She gave him the information, giving him access to all her personal accounts and the ability to steal her identity. She should have realized Medicare already has all her information and no one should be asking for it if they were who they say they are.

When she hung up she realized what she had done and called Medicare and was told it is a scam. Then she remembered what Triad says and called me upset and distraught. She also reported this to the police. We quickly went to her banks, credit card companies, had a fraud alert put on all her accounts, and notified the three credit bureaus of the alert. They will be monitoring all her accounts for some time to come.

Just about one week later, her physician called her to ask if she had ordered these supplies and was told of the incident last week. The physician had just received a call from this same man asking her to OK the order. The doctor knew it was a scam and notified her patient immediately.

These scam artists prey on our seniors and families are asked to be more aware of these scams and alert their parents as to what is happening even if their parents are in nursing homes or senior housing they can still get scammed.

I am the president of North Adams Triad and this is what we are all about, reminding our seniors and others of the fraud that is out there and how to protect themselves. We meet every fourth Wednesday of the month at the American Legion, American Legion Drive, North Adams and all seniors from our city and surrounding towns are welcome to stop in, listen to new speakers every month and help us protect them.


North Adams


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