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Spreading the word on “Medicare” scams

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Some scams target all of us.  IRS imposters, scammers offering to lower your credit card payments, and fake debt collectors blast out billions of robocalls, seemingly at random.

But, sometimes, scammers focus their pitch on a particular audience. They figure out what might make it seem like the message is really aimed at you. And scammers can be very persistent and very convincing.


Take the story of Dr. Carolyn Bowers, told in a video we released today. Dr. Bowers, a retired teacher and professor in Early Childhood Development from Arkansas, got a call from “Medicare.” The caller told her she needed to give her Social Security number and bank account number to them to get new Medicare cards. Watch the video to learn what happened next, and how the FTC got involved.

This morning, I’m premiering this video for the Senate Judiciary Committee, as I testify about fraud against older adults. At the FTC, we don’t see evidence that older people are more targeted for frauds than other populations. But our experience shows that there are some frauds that definitely affect older people more than others – including Medicare-related scams.

So please share this video with older people in your life. And share our Pass It On resources, aimed at helping older adults start a conversation about fraud. Because if they haven’t gotten one of these calls yet, it’s probably just a matter of time.

Scam Tags:  Medicare Impersonators


I am grateful for the FTC.

So am I. Nice to know some positive news and ways to prevent the disasters. It's a shame the hackers target the most unsuspecting people who are used to a more honest world. I'm glad I found this site.

I still find that in day and age that people fall for that and get taken for money. I got a supposed call from SSI but I have known not to answer them and others too. I don't know who is calling and I don't care. I do hope that this video helps others to understand how severe it is and how many scammers are out to try to get you. Thank you for getting this out to people who just don't get it. Don't give out info to anyone. Check the # online if you have a way to do that. God bless FTC for all their hard work.

Good advice. I check called ID. If I do not recognize the number or the company name I do not answer the phone. Sometimes I quietly pick up the receiver and gently depress it because the ringing is very annoying. I got a call from Microsoft (they do not call) telling me that my computer sent them a message that my computer was being hacked and to press 1. I did press 1 because I wanted to tell them I don't have a computer and hang up but they didn't answer. Actually I obviously do have a computer. I just was angry at these hackers.

I'd just tell that I have a Mac and ask "what's Microsoft?"

Also be aware of "ADware". It may look like it's coming from your internet provider. It will lock up your computer and a loud alarm will go off. It IS NOT your provider. They give you some bogus 800 number to call. PLEASE DO NOT ALL THE NUMBER! This gives them total access to your computer, etc. Call the correct number on your bill not ever these "alert number" the scammers urgently tell you to call "or else". These evil folks actually wrote on the pop up that they were my internet company! It looked so legit. Liars! No real harm was done because I didn't call the number. I called my company who walked me through the clean up. Easy to do. Be careful.

Perhaps I am just paranoid but I received a pink postcard in the mail about how someone was trying to reach me about a back or knee brace. I have been thinking about this after seeing it on tv because I do suffer from a ton of chronic pain. I was a child with scoliosis and between the yrs 17-27 I had 4 surgeries on my (L) knee and (3) on my right; Meaning, any free brace would be awesome! So, please if someone else has had this in their mail~CHECK INTO IT! I have no idea if it is trustful or not.

Like I said, if anyone has opened their mailbox and found this pink postcard and know the truth about it please write about it!! This person sounded normal,maybe just with an accent you can pick up depending where in the US you live! Not a foreign accent at all. Thanks.

People beware a Tombstone number:5202107187 will leave a message saying the IRS is coming to arrest you for an illegal filing. Do not fall for it. Just a scam. Also receiving calls from a Nelson Marquis, Joshua Krantz, Takeisha Cobbs and a Jerry Crain. Most of this people are on Facebook and their numbers were spoofed. Getting a lot of out of area calls trying to "give me" a 300 minute phone card just give them your card number for the shipping charges. Both times it was a Spanish speaking person. Scary was they knew my first name which I do not use and my home address. Think they were able to hack into my MoneyGram account as there is where that information appears. Everyday for the past week receiving phone calls at least once a day sometimes two or three times from these fake people.

I get these pink cards in mail too for free brace and also keep getting calls telling me I owe IRS a lot of money from an unknown long distance number. Please don't fall for these crooks. Even fail for the stupid selling speakers from a van scam that I didn't realize has existed for years. They came up to me when I was parked at a Racetrac getting gas.

our government know who these scammers are .why don't they do something about it?

The scams are horrible. Especially when they target the elderly. Nobody should be scammed it's just a terrible thing. I do believe that if the government can find a way to stop telephone spoofing oh, it would be a huge help. I don't know if it is possible, but even if all of the telephone companies work with them to try to stop this spoofing phone numbers. I think that it would cut the scam calls down a huge percentage. We just got a call asking for my mother saying it was Medicare, I hung up on him. I called the number back from my cell phone. And that number is not in service. It's ridiculous have these countries are just getting over on us every single day and there's not anything that we can do about it? Just reporting it? Isn't there a way to stop spoofing phone numbers? I certainly wish there was

Got a call this morning from "medicare" did I get my new card with the gold chip in it? I know this is a scam, but I don't think this put out to the public enough. It should be on every news cast, and on the talk shows. So many people fall for this, it is sad.

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