The first-person story of a retired educator’s Medicare scam experience – and the FTC attorney who helped bring the scammers to justice.
A teacher was what I always wanted to be. I got my doctoral degree in early childhood education. My husband and I had a wonderful marriage. And I lost him in September of last year.
I got a call from someone who indicated he was from Medicare. They told me that they needed my social security number. They needed my bank account number for new Medicare cards. I told them I was not giving them the information and hung up the phone.
There were thousands of consumers affected by this scam. They told consumers that if they didn't provide this information that they might lose their Medicare benefits. And they implied that that would happen pretty quickly.
They called back, and I have continued to refuse to give them the information. But they would transfer me to someone else who would give me the same pitch they were giving me. I just wanted them off the phone. I gave them the information they wanted.
These telemarketers are professionals. They know what buttons to push. They know what to say to get people to provide their information.
If you receive a call from a government agency, be very skeptical. Government agencies don't call consumers to ask them for money. They don't call consumers to ask for personal information.
I think it is very important that all of us continue to learn about scams.
Because of consumer complaints like the one we received from Dr. Bowers, we were able to go into federal court, get a freeze on the defendant's assets, and shut the company down.
I was so glad to even hear that they did win the case and shut the people down.
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