Scam attempts to steal from people on Medicare - KCTV5

Scam attempts to steal from people on Medicare

Posted: Updated:
OLATHE, KS (KCTV) -

With all the talk about changes in the healthcare system, the scam might seem more believable. Don't trust it.

Medicare is not issuing new identification cards to everyone on the plan, and the administrative staff would never ask for sensitive information over the phone.

Jeri Switzer got the call last Thursday.

"I was cleaning house, and the phone rang," Switzer said. "The other end said, ‘This is Medicare. We are calling everyone in the United States to change their card.'"

She was suspicious at first, questioning why would they need a bank account number to mail a new ID card. But as the man rattled off information he wanted to confirm, she began second-guessing her suspicions.

"He had my address," Switzer said. "He had a lot of my information. He had my old routing number."

The routing number tidbit had her daughter also letting down her guard.

The man said he wanted to confirm the first three digits. The numbers he gave were wrong, but they matched the number for her previous account.

"He said, ‘It starts with 106,'" Switzer recounted. "And I said, ‘No it doesn't,' and he said, ‘Well what does it start with?' I knew he had my old routing number, and so I gave it to him like a fool."

After handing over that information, she said the caller become more aggressive, which reawakened her original skepticism. Switzer called police.

Her daughter, Linda Hammes, rushed to close the bank account just in case.

Then, another call came that really incensed Hammes. It was the same voice, but this time it was about Switzer's military card.

She receives pension benefits connected to her late husband, who served 30 years in the Navy.

"He didn't serve all that time in the military for nothing," said Hammes, tearing up over the prospect of that information getting into the wrong hands. "She deserves every penny she gets."

Switzer said she never answer calls out of the area if she doesn't know who it is.

"I just felt really stupid," she said.

Hammes said her mom is neither dumb nor overly trusting, so she worries others could easily be duped.

"I want it to stop," she said. "It's not fair. Older people have a hard enough time anyway, let alone having their money taken from them."

Olathe police said they've had two other reports since July that have been similar but not quite the same.

One was a phone call trying to get a social security number over the phone. The other was a suspicious letter regarding Medicare and Social Security. In both of these instances, no information was given out.

Copyright 2013 KCTV (Meredith Corp.) All rights reserved.

  • Scam attempts to steal from people on MedicareMore>>

  • Below are some tips from the Olathe Police Department:

    Below are some tips from the Olathe Police Department:

    Tuesday, October 8 2013 7:43 AM EDT2013-10-08 11:43:34 GMT
    Protect your Social Security and Medicare accounts. Do not give out those numbers or a bank account number over the phone.Ask for a call-back number if you think it is suspicious. Then research who theMore >
    Protect your Social Security and Medicare accounts. Do not give out those numbers or a bank account number over the phone.Ask for a call-back number if you think it is suspicious. Then research who theMore >
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