State Attorney General Lori Swanson said Medicare and Social Security beneficiaries across the country report receiving calls from people claiming to represent Medicare, Social Security or an insurance company, saying new benefits cards are being issued or that the beneficiary's file must be updated.
"The scam artist asks the citizen to verify or provide their personal banking information, which is then used to commit theft using the person's identity," Swanson said in a statement. "Callers involved in this crime ring may be extremely aggressive, calling over and over, and at all times of the day, in an attempt to wear down the potential victim. These criminals will say anything to try to gain a person's trust."
The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services and the Social Security Administration do not call beneficiaries to ask them to disclose financial information in order to get a new card, Swanson said.
"These fraudulent callers may claim that they can improve the benefits. Do not believe these claims, and do not carry on a conversation with the caller," Swanson said. "If you receive a call asking you to disclose your bank account or other financial information, hang up immediately. These are criminals, and by speaking with the callers, even to ask them to stop calling, they may be encouraged to continue calling your telephone number."