JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - Arkansas Attorney General, Dustin McDaniel, is warning consumers about a Medicare scam. Open enrollment for Medicare begins next week, and scammers are targeting seniors. Scammers are calling senior citizens and asking for the beneficiaries of the Medicare accounts.
They then ask the beneficiary for personal information including bank account numbers and social security numbers. Monte Callicott, director of East Arkansas Area Agency on Aging, says elderly people are targeted because they are vulnerable.
Callicott said, "Many times they are alone and they don't have anyone else to help them with their business, and that makes them vulnerable."
Sarah Tacker, senior assistant attorney general, agreed with Callicott adding, "They are a very trusting generation."
Tacker said the scammers are focusing on Medicare subscribers. "A scammer will call a senior and will tell the senior that they need to renew their card or they need to apply for additional benefits."
Her advice for seniors is to be very cautious and aware of who you are speaking with. "A government employee, someone working for the Medicare program is not going to call them and ask for their Medicare number or their social security number."
"Consumers just need to be cognizant of who they are speaking to, and if there is any doubt in their mind that the call is not legitimate, they should hang up and call the institution directly," Tacker explained.
If you do receive a suspicious call, the Attorney General's Office asks that you please report it. You can report scams by visiting their website or giving them a call. Callicott also said if seniors have questions concerning this scam to feel free to call the East Arkansas Area Agency on Aging.
Attorney General's Office: Gotyourbackarkansas.org or 1-800-482-8982
East Arkansas Area Agency on Aging: 1-800-290-5815