January 17, 2013
The Attorney General is alerting Virginians about scammers that are targeting senior citizens.
Virginians are warned to protect their personal identity information following a spate of bogus calls to Medicare beneficiaries across the state in which callers threaten to terminate coverage or cut off Social Security checks if recipients refuse to provide requested information.
The Office of the Attorney General joins the Department for Aging and Rehabilitative Services (DARS) in advising Medicare participants who receive one of these fraudulent calls to refuse to give personal information such as Medicare or Social Security numbers, bank account numbers, credit or debit card numbers, or their date of birth in response to unsolicited telephone calls.
"It is critical to remember to never give out your personal or financial information when someone initiates a call to you," said Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli. "If you suspect you've been a victim of medical identity theft, contact the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services at 1-800-HHS-TIPS."
Medical identity thieves use high-pressure tactics to obtain Medicare and Social Security numbers, bank account information, or private insurance information.
"Unfortunately, during the Medicare enrollment period, scammers will try to take advantage of older Virginians," said DARS Commissioner Jim Rothrock. "It's important for beneficiaries to understand that Medicare will never call them to ask for personal information, including bank account or Social Security numbers."
People can learn more about protecting themselves or loved ones from medical identity theft at www.medicare.gov/help-and-resources/identity-theft/identity-theft.html.