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Elderly fall victim to Medicare scam, identity theft

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The elderly are frequent targets of Medicare scams, including the latest identity theft scheme that claims to come from a governmental department that does not actually exist.

Several Medicare beneficiaries have recently received phone calls from individuals declaring to be from the fictitious “Health and Welfare Department” informing them that a new Medicare card will soon be issued to them, according to a press release.

Beneficiaries are then asked to verify personal information, including their Medicare number, address, birth date and banking information.

Andrea Gary, public relations manager at Florida Department of Elder Affairs, said no state agency or Medicare agent will ever ask for your personal information, particularly your banking information.

“We consider our seniors to be one of the most vulnerable populations,” Gary said. “They’re a very trusting group, and so they are likely to give their information to someone who calls because they are concerned about their Medicare benefits.

Seniors have a way of verifying whether the call is legitimate or not by calling the Senior Medicare Patrol program at 1-866-357-6677.

Rebekah Geier wrote this story online.

About Ethan Magoc

Ethan is a news editor at WUFT News. He's a Pennsylvania native who found a home reporting Florida's stories. Reach him by emailing emagoc@wuft.org or calling 352-294-1525.

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