Better Business Bureau warns elderly, loved ones about scam

Published On: Jan 14 2013 10:52:28 PM EST
Updated On: Jan 15 2013 08:25:08 AM EST

VIDEO: A scam alert: crooks are targeting seniors. The Better Business Bureau says identity thieves are calling.. asking them for personal information - in order to get a new Medicare card.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -

The Better Business Bureau  is warning the elderly and their loved ones that identity thieves are  targeting them. The crooks ask them for personal information  in order to get the person who answers a new Medicare card.

Royce Robbins  with Seniors vs. Crime said these scammers are becoming more and more brazen and are skilled at keeping seniors on the phone in order to build their trust.  

Robbins said Medicare officials will  never call  people and ask for banking information and say anyone who gets one of these calls needs to hang up right away.

"The difficulty here is this is one in a chain of different scams -- all of them aimed at getting personal information -- and particularly banking information from a senior," said Robbins.

According to the BBB, seniors from across the United States, including in Northeast Florida, are falling victim to scam phone calls saying their new Medicare card is in the mail. The caller then tells victims that they need to set up a direct deposit so that Medicare funds can be put into their bank account.

"It could be in Florida today and Texas tomorrow.... so when you divulge personal information," said Channel 4 Crime Analyst Ken Jefferson.  "You're making it a buffet for all of the thieves out there who want to assume your identity."

Experts with Seniors vs. Crime said if the caller asks for any numbers on Medicare cards, people should hang up immediately.

"They never call you at home. For any purpose whatsoever, you will never get a call from Medicare, ever ever," said Robbins. "The main point to remember is to not be authoritative and demanding. It needs to be an education process so the senior feels like they've been informed and not being talked down to and told what to do."

If you know an elderly person who needs help understanding this scam contact Seniors vs. Crime at 904-721-6516 or visit their website: seniorsvscrime.com.

Comments

The views expressed below are not those of News4Jax or its affiliated companies. By clicking on "Post," you acknowledge that you have read the Terms of Service and your comment is in compliance with such terms. Readers, please help keep this discussion respectful and on topic by flagging comments that are offensive or inappropriate (hover over the commenter's name and you'll see the flag option appear on right side of that line). And remember, respect goes both ways: Tolerance of others' opinions is important in a free discourse. If you're easily offended by strong opinions, you might skip reading comments entirely.

blog comments powered by Disqus