Parkland residents report being targeted by fraudulent operators who pretend to be calling about Medicare, Social Security, or supplemental insurance, but whose actual purpose is to trick seniors into disclosing their private financial information.
Ann Denman of Desloge got a call from a scammer Tuesday, but she said she thinks she "nipped it in the bud."
"This guy said he was calling from Medicare, Medicaid or whatever. And he said senior citizens were going to get a new card sent to them. Well instantly I thought why is this foreigner working for Social Security?" Denman asked.
Denman said that he started right off the bat asking her questions about her personal information.
"He said, 'your address is in Farmington, Missouri.' And I said no I live in Desloge. I should have said if you don't know my address then don't bother calling, but anyway, I spelled it. And he said 'OK.' You know, with his accent, and then he asked me where my bank was," Denman said.
The scammer also asked Denman for her Social Security Number but she refused and he hung up.
"Anyway, this is what he says to me, but I think I nipped it in the bud," Denman said.
Disclosure of personal information can lead to identity theft and/or unauthorized withdrawals from a person's bank account. A person’s mailing address is one three key items necessary to capture someone’s identity. Prevent this scam from happening to you, or someone you care about.
Medicare and Social Security beneficiaries across the country report receiving calls from scam operators, who claim to represent Medicare, Social Security, or an insurance company. These callers claim that new Medicare, Social Security, supplemental insurance benefits cards are being issued or that the beneficiary's file must be updated and then use that to solicit personal information that can be used to steal your identity.
The scam artist may ask further ask the citizen to verify or provide their personal banking information, which is then used to swipe money from their bank accounts directly.
Callers involved in this crime ring may be extremely aggressive, calling over and over at all times of the day, in an attempt to wear down the potential victim. These criminals will say anything to try to gain a person's trust.
In some cases, the criminals may have already obtained some limited personal information about the citizen, such as his or her name, address, or even Social Security number, which the con artist then uses to make the call seem legitimate. In other cases, the callers may claim that they can improve your benefits.
Do not believe these claims, and do not carry on a conversation with the caller. Instead, if you receive a call asking you to disclose your bank account or other financial information, hang up immediately. These are criminals, and by speaking with the callers, even to ask them to stop calling, they may be encouraged to continue calling your telephone number in hopes you’ll be flustered or angered enough to let something slip.
If you are a Medicare or Social Security beneficiary, the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services and the Social Security Administration do not call to ask you to disclose financial information in order to get a new card. If you receive such a call, you should report it to these agencies.
The Daily Journal has made a commitment to keep readers abreast of scams that hit our area. If someone tries to make you the victim of a scam, submit details at http://www.dailyjournalonline.com/connect (click on the Scam logo) or call us at 431-2010 and tell us what happened.
We will try to include your story in our scam alert series to prepare others who may find themselves in the same situation. The Daily Journal will run Scam Alert stories in the Weekend paper.