Seniors Get Hung Up In Health Care Scams
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Seniors Get Hung Up In Health Care Scams

Seniors Get Hung Up In Health Care Scams

Law enforcement agencies are reporting a spike in health insurance scams across the country, many of which are preying on the public’s confusion over the massive changes taking place in the nation’s health care system.

By Jenny Gold, Kaiser Health News

The scam truck

The scam truck (Photo credit: jepoirrier)

MONDAY, April 22, 2013 One recent morning, 86-year-old Evelyne Lois Such was sitting at her kitchen table in Denver when the phone rang.  She didn’t recognize the phone number or the deep voice on the other end of the line. “He asked if I was a senior, and I said yes, and he said we are sending out all new Medicare cards and I want to make sure I have all of your statistics correct,” Such recounts.

At first, the caller didn’t seem too fishy; he started by running through her address and phone number, just to make sure they were right. But then he read off a series of numbers and asked if it was her bank routing number. “I didn’t know really at the time whether it was or not, but I just said no. He said, well could you give it to me so I’ll have it correctly, and I said, well I’m not so sure about that. And he started to say something and I hung up.”

When the scammer tried calling her a second time, she hung up immediately, scribbled down the number from her caller ID and dialed Medicare to report the scam.

“I kind of thought it was funny at first, and then I thought, you know, how dare they?” says Such. “There are some seniors who aren’t well and don’t think as well as they used to, and it just made me angry that they would be victimized like this.”

Law enforcement agencies are reporting an increase in these sorts of health insurance scams across the country. Many of the fraudsters seem to be preying on the public’s confusion over the massive changes taking place in the nation’s health care system.

Seniors are often targets — they’re more likely to be home to answer the phone, and they tend to have retirement savings that scammers hope to tap.  But they aren’t the only victims: The federal government received nearly 83,000 complaints of “imposter scams” last year — up 12 percent from the year before.

Continue reading at Seniors Get Hung Up In Health Care Scams – Senior Health – Everyday Health.

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