Fake Medicare calls are going around targeting people in Acadiana.
These scams start with a phone call that appears on your caller ID as Medicare or Social Security Administration, but they have many variations.
Regardless of the method, the scammer’s goal is to steal your personal information for their personal benefit.
Chris Babin with the Better Business Bureau of Acadiana, said, “There’s a couple different avenues that scammers try to use.
One of the more prevalent ones recently is they offer some type of free back brace or knee brace which is typically why they target the elderly. People that might actually need this equipment.”
To get the free medical brace, scammers ask for some personal information, such as your Social Security Number to confirm your identity.
“Scammers use a bunch of different techniques,” explained Babin.
“Sometimes, they’ll just ask for the personal identifiable information and sometimes they will actually send a brace that they probably claim is free just for giving them information and they’re going to get a brace in the mail. However, they’re going to get an extremely large bill that they probably didn’t agree to.”
Scammers attempt to intimidate you by claiming there is a problem with your Medicare benefits.
Babin added, “A lot of times in these instances, they’re not real bills. The scammers are just creating bills trying to get money out of them. It depends if that’s the route that they go. Sometimes, they’re stealing information. Sometimes, they’ll create these fake bills hoping to get a bunch of money out of them.”
In 2018 alone, the Better Business Bureau received more than 500 reports about scam calls claiming to be from Medicare representatives.
Here are some tips to protect yourself from these fake Medicare scam calls:
- Don’t answer calls from unknown numbers. A legitimate caller will leave you a voicemail.
- When in doubt, hang up. Don’t engage in conversation.
- Know how government agencies work. Government agencies don’t call consumers unsolicited. They send letters if they need to contact you.
If you have a scam you’d like me to investigate, feel free to send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.