Dunklin Co. Sheriff warns against phone call scams

KENNETT, MO (KAIT) - Dunklin County Sheriff Bob Holder is warning Dunklin County residents about phone calls from people claiming to need personal information for Medicare.

Sheriff Holder said about two weeks ago residents started reporting repeated calls from people asking for bank account numbers and other personal information. "Most of them are elderly or they've had their children calling on their behalf stating that they're receiving telephone calls that they need to update some of their Medicare information, issue a new card."

Region 8 News contacted Medicare agents at the Southeast Missouri Area Agency on Aging to find out about the information gathering protocol of the organization. Executive director Glenda Hoffmeister said agents will never ask for Medicare identification numbers, Social Security numbers or bank account numbers.

The warning from Sheriff Holder was too late for some people. He said one resident has lost about $13,000. "But there's a number of them that haven't, so I just want to caution everybody, do not give your personal information banking information over the telephone."

Sheriff Holder said once the information is given out, there's little to no chance of tracking down the caller or the money.

"The phone numbers they give you when you try to call them back, they're not good numbers."

"Just tell them you're not interested and hang up."

Sheriff Holder reports the calls to the FBI. To report a suspicious caller, contact local law enforcement.

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