Medicare Scammers Targeting Area Residents
The Temple Terrace Police Department is warning residents to watch out for this telephone scam.
Identity thieves are trying a new ploy to part Temple Terrace residents from their bank account information.
According to Temple Terrace Community Service Officer Ken Stanton, the latest scam involves telephone callers who claim to be from Medicare.
“They advise that Medicare is issuing new cards to their members and they need to confirm information,” Stanton said. From there, the caller asks for bank account information to complete the verification process. The callers, Stanton said, are “insistent” on getting this information.
“Do not do this,” he warned.
Stanton said that no reputable companies, insurance other otherwise, will ask for this type of information over the phone.
Residents, he said, should take steps to avoid taking these kinds of calls in the first place.
“As a general phone safety rule, don’t answer the phone if you don’t recognize the number, (it) is a private number or no caller identification is present in the display on your phone,” he suggests. “Let it go to voice mail then review it later. If you feel uncomfortable with the call hang up. If that 6th sense is telling you something is not right hang up.”
If you decide you want to call a company back after hearing a message on a machine, Stanton offers additional advice. “Do not call the number they called from or that they provided,” he said. “Look it up in the directory.”
Stanton said at least one Temple Terrace resident has been targeted in this telephone scam. The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office is also familiar with the scam, officials there say.
Telephone scams can be reported to the Federal Trade Commission via its website.
Do you rely on your caller ID to decide when to pick up the phone?