Avoiding phone scams
Scambook, an Internet complaint resolution platform, is warning seniors about phone scams involving Medicare. The company has received over 100 consumer complaints about one alleged benefits company that has conned elderly Americans out of more than $130,000 dollars.
To protect yourself:
– Never give any personal information to an unsolicited caller. Any legitimate insurance company or Medicare representative will not request personal financial information over the phone.
– Pressure to “act now” is a red flag. If the caller says it’s a “one time offer” or attempts to coerce you with a certain deadline, this is a significant red flag.
– Hang up as soon as the call becomes suspicious. Scambook advises consumers to trust their instincts. If the caller is speaking too fast and refuses to slow down, repeat themselves, or answer questions, it’s likely to be a scam.
– If in doubt, get the caller’s information, call the insurance company or Medicare, or research them online. Ask for the caller’s name, phone number and extension, and the name of his direct supervisor. Scambook recommends searching for this information on their complaint database or by using Google. If the caller does turn out to be legitimate, seniors can call them back.
– Contact the healthcare provider and monitor finances. If seniors suspect that a caller was trying to scam them, Scambook suggests calling the healthcare provider directly to pull up a record of the phone call. Additionally, monitor bank accounts and bill statements very closely. The sooner an unauthorized charge is noticed, the easier it will be to dispute.