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  • Geebo 8:00 am on May 3, 2023 Permalink | Reply
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    Scam Round Up: AI voice scam finds another victim and more 

    By Greg Collier

    This week in the round-up, we’ll be discussing three scams we’ve discussed before, but have popped up again recently.

    Our first scam is the Medicare card scam. Medicare issued new cards back in 2018 which started using an ID# rather than the recipient’s Social Security number. This was done to help prevent Medicare fraud and ensure patient privacy. Ever since then, scammers have been trying to fool Medicare recipients into believing another new card was being issued. Scammers typically do this to try to steal their victim’s Medicare information.

    The West Virginia Attorney General’s Office has issued a warning which says scammers are calling residents posing as Medicare, the Social Security Administration, or the Department of Insurance. The scammers are telling residents they need to turn in their paper Medicare cards for new plastic ones. This is not true. If Medicare were to issue new cards, they would announce it through the mail and not by calling Medicare recipients.

    The next scam pertains to families who have a loved one who is currently incarcerated. The Georgia Parole Board has issued their own warning to the families of the incarnated. They’ve reported scammers are calling the families and asking for money for the release of their family member. The scammers claim the money is needed for an ankle monitor before the inmate could be released.

    According to the parole board, they will never call anyone’s family asking for money. Georgia residents are advised to check with the parole board’s website before to determine the current parole status of their family member.

    Our final scam is one that’s not that old and has been in the news a lot lately, the voice spoofing scam. Scammers are taking voice recordings from social media or spam phone calls and feeding it to an AI program that can replicate that person’s voice. So far, it’s mostly been used in the grandparent scam, and the virtual kidnapping scam.

    An elderly coupe from Texas fell victim to the grandparent scam when they heard the voice of their grandson asking for help. The AI-generated voice said they were in an accident in Mexico and needed $1000. Believing he was talking to his actual grandson, the grandfather sent the money.

    If you receive a call like this, don’t believe your ears, as they can be deceived. Instead, try to contact the person who is supposedly in danger before sending any money.

  • Geebo 9:00 am on March 8, 2023 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , new medicare card, , ,   

    Scam Round Up: Scammers use fallen officer’s name and more 

    By Greg Collier

    Our first story in this edition of the Round Up is a reminder to Medicare recipients that Medicare will not reach out to you by phone unsolicited. Scammers often try to obtain a recipient’s Medicare information by posing as Medicare and offering victims a new Medicare card. In the past, scammers have offered new plastic cards to victims. However, Medicare does not use plastic cards. More recently, scammers have said Medicare is sending out new cards to all recipients because of COVID. One of the main tip-offs to this scam is that Medicare doesn’t need your Medicare number, as they already have it. If anyone calls you asking for your Medicare number, there’s a good chance they’re a scammer.


    Speaking of COVID, even though we’re on the other side of the pandemic, scammers are still using the virus to their advantage. Scammers are still offering at home COVID tests as a way to get either your financial or insurance information. The scammers will offer these supposed tests over the phone while telling their victim they qualify for the free tests under their health insurance. Or, the scammers will ask for payment information for a small shipping fee. In either case, no test is ever sent, and the victim’s information is used for fraud.

    If you need some at home COVID tests, you can still get them for free through the USPS website.


    Our last story is another example showing there are no depths scammers won’t stoop to. In Tennessee, scammers are using the name of a Sheriff’s Deputy who fell in the line of duty. The scammers are looking for victims on dating apps and threaten them with arrest using the fallen officer’s name. Money is then extorted from the victim.

    While law enforcement does often patrol dating apps looking for potential predators, they will never threaten someone with arrest if they’re not paid.

    If someone calls or contacts you like this, threatening arrest if you don’t pay them, hang up and call your local police. Once you explain to them what happened, they’ll be able to tell you that it’s a scam.

  • Geebo 8:00 am on November 4, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , new medicare card, ,   

    New Medicare card scam is back 

    By Greg Collier

    Currently, we are in the middle of Medicare’s open enrollment period. This is the time of year when Medicare recipients can either stay with their current coverage or seek out a new plan. As we have previously mentioned, open enrollment is also open season for Medicare scammers. This is the time of year when many scammers use Medicare’s open enrollment as an opportunity to try to steal their victims’ Medicare information. The stolen information can then be used to file fraudulent Medicare claims.

    One of the ways scammers get this information is to pose as Medicare and call people to tell them they’re getting a new Medicare card. The scammers will then ask the victim to ‘verify’ their Medicare number and other information so they can issue a new card. A woman in Tennessee was approached by scammers over the phone and was told she was getting a new Medicare card that had a chip in it like a debit or credit card. The woman even asked if the caller was from Medicare or a third party, and the scammer claimed to be from Medicare. The woman knew this was a scam and gave the caller some phony information before hanging up on them.

    The main thing to keep in mind with Medicare scams is that unless you have an ongoing issue with your Medicare coverage and have spoken to an actual Medicare rep, Medicare will never call you. Any major communications that Medicare has with its recipients is done through the postal mail, that includes when new cards are to be issued. If someone calls you claiming to be from Medicare, hang up, even if the caller ID says they’re calling from Medicare. As we’ve known for some time, any phone number can be spoofed.

  • Geebo 8:00 am on September 16, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , genetic testing, , , new medicare card,   

    Scam Round Up: Beware of these Medicare scams 

    By Greg Collier

    There have been a number of stories about Medicare scams in the news this week. Unfortunately, they all deal with victims giving their Medicare numbers to scammers over the phone. Here are the highlights of each scam.


    The AARP is warning Medicare recipients across the country about a phone scam where the fraudsters are threatening victims with termination of their benefits. The scammers are posing as Medicare and calling seniors across the country, telling the seniors that they need a new Medicare card or their benefits will be terminated. The scammers will then ask the victim for their Medicare number for the supposed new card. Instead, the scammers are selling the Medicare numbers to other scammers, who may use the numbers to file false claims. When Medicare does issue new cards, they do so through the mail and will not call recipients asking for information that Medicare should already have.


    Patients of a healthcare network in Missouri have reported receiving calls from scammers posing as hospital representatives. This includes spoofing the hospital’s actual phone number. Many of the calls have been trying to get patients to order medical equipment like back and knee braces. The scammers have been asking for patients’ Social Security and Medicare numbers. You should only order medical equipment like this if directed by your physician. To do so any other way could lead to fraudulent claims or ill-fitting and ineffective equipment. No physician or medical professional will ever call you unsolicited to try to sell you any medical equipment.


    Lastly, we have another scam that’s been targeting Medicare recipients nationwide. In this scam, again, the victims are being cold-called, which is something Medicare will never do. The scammers are claiming to be a patient advocate working with Medicare. They offer free genetic testing to detect cancer or heart disease, but if you don’t act soon, you’ll be ineligible for the free procedure. Again, Medicare does not make offers on medical procedures like it’s double coupon day at your local supermarket. Usually, if a test is ordered through one of these calls, it either never appears or is dubious in quality and efficacy. This could also affect patients in the future if they need one of these tests, but already have one billed to Medicare. These tests are quite expensive, and this scam could lead to patients having a substantial medical bill in the thousands.


    It really is just good practice to not give your Medicare number out over the phone, especially to someone who calls you out of the blue.

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