Phone scam targets Medicare users

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - A new scam is ringing in the holiday season and looking for someone to pick up the phone and fall into the trap.

The South Carolina Department of Consumer Affairs urges consumers to beware of this scam involving Medicare numbers and other sensitive personal information.

Consumers have reported a cold caller tells them to expect a new Medicare card in January. But before getting the new card, you have to verify your social security number or supply a bank account number.

Many of these calls are originating from one phone number, 409-579-1214.

This scam may also involve a scammer telling you that you qualify for free medical supplies.

The scammer just needs the Medicare card number (which is also your social security number), insurance information and/or other personal identifying information.

Follow these tips to keep your information safe:

• Never give out your SSN, bank account number or other sensitive information to someone you do not know.

• Know who is calling. If you are suspicious about a caller, hang up and call a number that you know belongs to the organization/agency.

• Always be skeptical of anyone calling you regarding Medicare, especially when they're asking for personal information.

• Warn your family and friends about the scam, especially elderly loved ones, as they are often targets of this type of ruse.

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