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1/19/2016

A Medicare Phone Scam

Good afternoon. No card today, but a little Scam Warning that happened to us, and apparently quite a few other folks in our area. Debated on posting this info, but decided the information needed to be out to anyone who has Medicare! I've notified all our friends & relatives that I know have Medicare, and thought I'd copy & paste on the blog, what I've shared on this subject. If it keeps one person from being scammed, then I'm glad. (we are lucky that we weren't, and I'm probably the biggest skeptic on this earth. )


Just for grunts & giggles I’ll pass this on. May not be happening where you are.

You know we got the cc compromised in December…and far as we know, no repercussions from that. The bank caught the transaction and refused it.
 
About 2 wks ago, I got a call, (and we’ve been inundated with crap calls lately), very strong accent, lady said she was from Medicare, wanted me to do a survey on the equipment I get from Oggles (which is where our sleep apnea machines & supplies come from). Well, even ole skeptical me, who hangs up on everything, understood the Medicare bit so I listened. The survey was innocuous, no personal info asked, just 5 questions like: Do your supplies arrive on time, were you adequately shown how to use the machine, if you’ve visited the office, was it friendly, clean, etc. The types of questions I’d expect. So I answered.
 
About a week later, Mr gets a call, hangs up and said it was somebody about a back & knee brace that had been ordered for him. I heard him say “I’m not interested” and he hung up. Then got another call, referencing the 1st one, said somebody had called, requesting the knee & back brace. (this is what he’s telling me)..He said “I didn’t request it, not had one ordered for me either. Quit bothering me” and he hung up. Well, yesterday evening, I get a call, says it from Medicare, very hard to understand this lady, but I thought it was HIS survey about the breathing machine, so I told him to pick up. He said it was about the same brace stuff. So got to thinking maybe I best check with Medicare to see if somebody is trying to run a scam ordering stuff for him & being billed to Medicare. Hunted up an old medicare statement to get their number.

The guy at Medicare said he’s gotten many calls about this, and after I told him the story - about the 3 calls, the earlier “medicare survey” call about the machine, he had me call the Federal Trade Commission. (again other than Mr’s medicare info, he didn’t ask me personal stuff, and I initiated the call to the number on one of our medicare forms). I happened to mention to him that our cc had been compromised in December, and he said: Be sure you tell the FTC this as well. OK, so I call, get this lady, and give her the same info. Apparently it’s something that is pretty widespread. She had me call the Transunion credit thing & put a Fraud Alert on Mr’s name, so that if anybody is trying to open any accounts, get credit, etc. it’s flagged, and they won’t be able to do anything without contacting us, and making us give the proper info. Apparently Transunion notifies the other 2 credit report agencies. I didn’t get a person, just an automated voice with a menu. It’s in effect for 90 days.

Thought I’d pass this along so if ya’ll get these kinds of things, just be aware. The guy at medicare said Medicare will NEVER make calls like this. He guessed (and I agree) that the first call was the ‘hook’ & precipitated the others. Talk about feeling a red face. But the first one really did sound legitimate, and the questions were the types of things we’ve gotten before for surveys on businesses we’ve dealt with. So just be aware! Fortunately I had the number still in the caller id from yesterday, but suspect it’s probably some kind of boiler type thing..area code was 818. I was asked if we had that number, so I’m glad this id was the only one we didn’t know who it was and it was approximately the time that both of us remember the call coming in. About the normal dinner time. Probably foreign.

15 comments:

KT Fit Kitty said...

This was interesting! Glad no harm done!

Princess Judy Palmer said...

Lots of phone scams these days. We've been looking at rentals and one of the places we look at has a long distance number to call, not too unusual, but I called it and get asked to take a quick survey. The first question is are you currently employed? I wondered if it was a way to do a quick check of prospective rental tenants so I answered the few questions... are you over 18? and a few other ones-nothing raised a flag. At the end it said "thank you and you've won a caribbean cruise" which I don't want so I wait and wait and all it does is hang up on me. Now several times a day I get calls about the cruise I won. I don't want a cruise! I want a new place to live! I'm sure that call got my phone number onto some stupid list. I should go find the house with that sign and burn it to the ground out of spite.

The other scam was a voice mail from "911" about a warrant for hubby's arrest and to call this number to make arrangements before the cops come and take you away. He freaks out about it, but doesn't call the number. He looks online and all he finds are those bogus pay for info websites about "yep, we found legal stuff, pay us $20 to see what it is." He calls me as I know all the free and legit sites (we meet with troubled students and pre-screen them to know just how troubled) and I come across his 4 different traffic violations in the past 20 some years but nothing else. I'm thinking it sounds like some sort of scam but hubby won't believe me. I call my former boss whose brother is a cop and have him check into it. It IS a scam. If you call the number back they ask for identifying information like your date of birth, SSN, employer, banking, etc. That's when they get your info to exploit. Pffft!

Lisa said...

Wow!! So glad you weren't affected. So sad this happens. Have a great evening :)

Lisa
A Mermaid's Crafts

nwilliams6 said...

This is so scary - harder and harder to determine if something is phishing or real anymore. If they keep getting smarter and smarter how will we know? Mr and I don't do any surveys any more and don't answer any calls from numbers we don't recognize. If Mr. gets one, the poor people probably will never call again regardless of who they are. Thanks for sharing this - I need to pass it on to my parents and kids and friends. Many hugz!

alexandra s.m. said...

This scams make me so angry!
I'm relieved to read no harm was done to you!
Thanks for sharing

Birgit said...

This is disgusting because it prays on people who have medical issues. I am glad you called Medicare and are now on a watch with them. I hope they cease and desist from calling. I would get my credit report to make sure all looks in order. I say this to my clients especially if they were ever compromised.

Darnell J Knauss said...

Thanks for posting this for everyone to have a head's up, Mary! I haven't gotten calls like this yet, but last week we got a call from someone like that saying they were from Verizon. They could hardly speak English! And what the hell ever happened to the Do Not Call list, that's what I'd like to know. My phone rings 15 times a day with these crap calls. I just hate that there is nothing that we can do about it except drop a complaint in an online complaint form that goes promptly into the delete file!! Anyway, thank you! I hope you don't have any further nuisance with all this! Hugs, Darnell

Sue said...

We get loads of nuisance calls here. I don't even do the legit surveys, as they generate more calls.

Hope it can all be sorted for you.

Have a lovely day. Sue

Olga Fink said...

Interesting! So good that you are a sceptic and no harm was done!

Barb said...

Glad you were'nt caught Mary. We get lots of scam calls in the UK too. Barbxx

Bonnie said...

A good thing to share, Mary! Is that a new blog header? Love it!

Daffodil Cards said...

Well aren't you clued up, SO glad you weren't caught, so many different kinds of scams going around and sorry to say quite a few people get caught, trouble is that a lot sound so genuine.
x
PS I like your new header too.

Charlene said...

It makes you not trust anyone and if its legitimate how do you know? My friend had an AARP magazine at her house I saw it listed a ton of scams so I picked it up and read it, good information and told who to contact.

Mrs A. said...

Gone are the days when you could answer your phone and know that it was a genuine call from a friend you would want to speak to. We have caller display on our phones and if the number comes up we don't recognize we don't answer it. If someone genuinely wants to speak to us they leave a message. 9 times out of 10 it is a scam call.
I don't answer surveys either. Online, in the street or postal.
Terrible that we are reduced to having to watch our backs the whole time. Glad to hear you wised up on that particular scam. hugs Mrs A.

Jenny L said...

Hi Mary,
oh my word these phone scams are so horrible.
I was always warning my Dad when he was alive about them, as I think us oldies can be very vulnerable to them.
We are with talk talk, and you know they got hacked a couple of months ago, and back about 8 months ago.
Well we are getting scam calls from somebody pretending to be them.
I got so angry the other day when they phoned again and said why don't you get a proper job and stop scamming people.
I get at least one a week from them.
There are also these people that phone and say about your computer so I keep them talking for a long time so their bill is piling up and then I let them have a verbal attack.
These scam people are the lowest of low.
So glad you didn't get caught out.
Lots of crafty love. Jenny L.