LCSO Warns of Medicare Enrollment Scam

Posted at 6:40 PM, Nov 04, 2016
and last updated 2016-11-04 18:40:03-04

LEE COUNTY, Fla. -- The Lee County Sheriff's Office is warning people of scammers, who are taking advantage of seniors as Medicare open enrollment continues Friday. 

Carl Artino told Fox 4 he's hung up on scammers before. "I give them a few good words and I hang up."

However, many may not think to hang up when someone who says they're from Medicare is calling. "Sometimes the scam will be 'we're from Medicare, can you verify your social security number or your Medicare card number?' which is the social security number," said Beth Schell, fraud expert. 

As Medicare open enrollment is underway, con-artists are tricking seniors into giving them personal and financial information. According to LCSO's fraud expert Beth Schell, the scammers may call and ask you to sign up for certain prescription drug cover plans or they'll threaten you'll lose your other Medicare benefits.

They may also tell you you are due for a refund and ask you for your birth date and social security number. "All these scammers need to do is get that information from you and they can open up lines of credit, credit cards, buy a house, buy a car," said Schell. 

Some scammers may even knock on your front door, posing as a Medicare agent with fake brochures. However, there are no Medicare sales representatives and one will never come knocking on your door. If you haven't asked for an agent to contact you, it is against federal law for them to try to sell you something on behalf of Medicare. "I personally don't think my husband or I would fall for it," said one senior.