Scammers copy real Medicare recording to dupe enrollees into giv

Scammers copy real Medicare recording to dupe enrollees into giving out info

Posted:
"To better serve you, tell me your Medicare number including any letters, or you can key in the numbers using your telephone keypad," the fraudulent message says. "To better serve you, tell me your Medicare number including any letters, or you can key in the numbers using your telephone keypad," the fraudulent message says.
"We want to get the word out, this is not something that is legitimate," Kim Ward of ETHRA said. "We want to get the word out, this is not something that is legitimate," Kim Ward of ETHRA said.

By DON DARE
6 On Your Side Consumer Investigator

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - Medicare users are receiving a fraudulent phone call that sounds very real, reminding people about the flu season.

Kim Ward with the East Tennessee Human Resource Agency (ETHRA) received one of the calls at her office.

"Welcome to Medicare. Did you know that the seasonal flu can be very serious for people aged 65 and older? Stay healthy this flu season - get your flu shot now," the message states.

Ward says it's a legitimate recording you would hear if put on hold with Medicare. But the message she received had additional directions that aren't in the legitimate call.

"To better serve you, tell me your Medicare number including any letters, or you can key in the numbers using your telephone keypad," the message says. 

"I was shocked," Ward said.

Ward said she's scared because the difference in the voices is ever so slight.

"If they give personal information, it would compromise someone's Medicare number which could be very serious," Ward said. "They could get billed for services not rendered. Their Medicare number could be used in many different ways."

Ward said it's likely the call is going to many homes in East Tennessee.

"That's what concerns us and we want to get the word out, this is not something that is legitimate," she said. "Sometimes they're told they need to give this information because of changes to Medicare and that is intimidating. But Medicare is not going to call you and ask for your personal information, nor are they going to call you to say there are changes to your Medicare."

If you listen closely to the recording, you can tell that someone ripped off the original recorded voice and spliced the tape together to make it sound legitimate.

If you get a call that sounds the least bit suspicious, hang up.  

Social Security won't call you and neither will the IRS or Medicare.

ETHRA is trying to trace that fraudulent call. 


If you have a consumer issue, call the 6 On Your Side Hotline at 865-633-5974 or email ddare@wate.com.

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