COLUMBUS, OH (FOX19) - Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine has issued a warning to Ohioans to beware of callers who pretend to be from Medicare and ask for personal information.
Several people have reported the potential scams to the Ohio Attorney General's Office. Many customers recognize the scam and hang up on the caller but others have provided their information before realizing the ploy. Medicare will not cold call consumers and ask for personal information.
"If you receive an unexpected call saying you need a new Medicare card and must provide your Social Security number, it's a scam," said DeWine. "We want Ohioans to be especially aware of these phony calls during this final week of Medicare's Open Enrollment Period."
A con artist will typically call a consumer and falsely claim that the consumer needs a new Medicare card or must verify enrollment. The caller asks for the consumer's Social Security number and bank account number. A request for account verification is a classic sign of a phishing scam. Consumers that provide that information put themselves at risk for identity theft.
These calls are in no way associated with Medicare. Consumers should hang up and contact Medicare directly using a valid number. Consumers that give out personal information in connection with a suspicious phone call should file a police report, notify their bank and contact the credit reporting bureaus.
Medicare open enrollment ends on Dec. 7, 2011. For more information, contact the Ohio Department of Insurance at (800) 686-1578 or www.insurance.ohio.gov.
To report a potential scam, contact the Ohio Attorney General's Office at (800) 282-0515 or www.ohioattorneygeneral.com.