North Carolina Division of Aging and Adult Services
TO NC SENIOR CONSUMER FRAUD TASK FORCE MEMBERS
Alice Banks, program grants manager for the Senior Medicare Patrol (SMP) Program at the NC Department of Insurance, shares the following warning that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services in Atlanta issued to SMP’s in the region this morning:
At least three Regional Offices reported that beneficiaries received telephone calls requesting banking information for the purposes "of issuing new Medicare cards.”
Below is a synopsis of one situation prepared by the Missouri SMP.
Tara L Foley, LCDR, USPHS| Medicare Advantage Branch| Division of Medicare Health Plans Operations | Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, Region IV | 61 Forsyth St., SW; Ste 4T20 |Atlanta, GA 30303 | (:404-562-4279| 7: 443-380-5821| *: firstname.lastname@example.org
Don’t Mess with Martha!
It’s another hot summer day and Martha is busy with her daily chores when she hears the phone ring.
She answers with a pleasant “Hello.” A man on the other end of the line says, “Is your name Martha?” “Yes, it is,” she said.
The man goes on to explain that he is calling about a new Medicare card that is being mailed out to all beneficiaries and he needs to verify her correct name and address. Martha spells her name out to make sure he gets it down correctly and then verifies that her address is also correct.
The man thanks her and then says; “Tell me the name of your bank.”
Martha is quick to reply, “Sorry I don’t give out my bank information.”
The man replies, “But I need it to verify your information so we will be able to send out your new Medicare card.”
Martha asks, “Are you from the government? “
The man answers, “Yes.” “Well,” Martha says,” I never received any information from the government saying that I would be contacted asking for this information.”
The man answers,” I still need your bank information.” Martha starts to really get suspicious at this point and asks the man if he has a supervisor. He responds with a yes. She goes on to tell the caller that she has already had experience with people like him and she is not giving him any more information. The man was silent on the other end of the phone, and then he hung up.
Even at 85 years young, you can’t fool Martha!
Martha handled that call perfectly. Here at the Missouri SMP (Senior Medicare Patrol) we educate seniors on how they should protect their personal information from fraudsters trying to steal their identity.” Protect, Detect, and Report” is our motto. That is exactly what Martha did. During that phone conversation with the fraudster she first protected her personal information by not giving out her bank information, then by asking questions of the caller she detected that he was running a scam. Her next call was to report the scam to the Missouri SMP to alert others of the potential scam.
This article is based on an actual call that an older adult received. Name was changed for privacy.
If you have questions or concerns contact the Missouri SMP at 888-515-6565.
******End of Alert******
Date: October 12, 2012
David N. Kirkman
NC Senior Consumer
Fraud Task Force
Trade Commission Alerts