Medicare enrollment is in full force this time of year, and so are the scammers calling in hopes of illegally obtaining personal information.
For one Lewes woman, the live person on the other end of the line was very convincing.
“I could hear the woman talking to my mom, and the next thing I knew, my mom had given out her Medicare number,” said Lynne Ferguson.
Even though Ferguson said she has told her mother never to give out her Medicare information, and let some phone calls go to voicemail, her mother answered the phone and talked to a woman who said she was from the Medicare office.
Delaware State Police Master Cpl. Heather Pepper said actual employees with the Medicare department will never call a person unless they left a message via the agency’s customer service line, 1-800-633-4227.
Ferguson said she made her mother hang up, but two hours later, the same woman called back. This time, Ferguson said, she answered and gave the woman a piece of her mind. “I really reamed her out,” she said.
A little while later, Ferguson said, a man called and said he was with the Medicare pharmacy, and he was upset over the way Ferguson had talked to his employee. Ferguson also told him not to call anymore, but before the end of the day, the woman called back again.
“Calling four times in one day shows how aggressive they are,” she said.
DSP’s Pepper said a Medicare employee will never ask someone to pay a fee to get a new or upgraded Medicare card, or threaten to cancel Medicare coverage unless personal information is provided over the telephone.
“People say it’s never going to happen to me, yet look what happened,” Ferguson said. “They are just preying on the elderly community.”
Pepper said the Delaware State Police have not taken any Medicare scam reports lately, but she encourages anyone who has been a victim to file a report.