13 On Your Side: Scam alert for seniors
Scammers are tricking older Mainers into sharing personal information by claiming to be Medicare representatives. The callers are saying they need to mail out new ID cards.
News 13's Jon Chrisos is On Your Side with what to watch out for.
Here's how the scam works. You answer the phone, and the caller claims to be with Medicare or another government office. He tells you your new Medicare card is in the mail and you'll get it in a few days.
In the meantime, you need to set up a direct deposit so your "Medicare money" can be deposited into your bank account. Of course in order to do that, you need to tell the caller your banking information and he'll take care of the rest. But, there's no new card and no direct deposit. The caller wants the information so he can drain your account.
To avoid "Medicare card" identity theft and protect yourself from scammers, we want to give you some tips from the Better Business Bureau.
First, don't carry your Medicare card around in your wallet. If the card is lost or stolen, a scammer can use the information to steal your identity. Also, don't give your personal information out over the internet or phone or to anyone who comes to your home. Only give information to doctors or other providers approved by Medicare. And if you suspect identity theft, get in touch with the federal trade commission ID theft hotline. 1-877-438-4338
The is just the latest "Medicare card" phone scam. Other callers could ask you to verify your identity in order to get the new card. You don't need to do that either.
FTC ID theft hotline: 1-877-438-4338
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