Sacto 9-1-1
March 19, 2013
Seniors advised to beware of possible medical card scam

A Citrus Heights resident and retired Prudential insurance agent is eager to alert fellow senior citizens to a likely medical card scam.

Kenneth Kenoyer said he has received five phone calls in the last two days from individuals telling him he is eligible for a medical card that could save him money on prescription and medical care costs. The various callers -- one was a woman and two were men -- knew his address but said they needed his bank account and routing numbers for identification purposes.

Kenoyer said he declined all offers, advising the callers that he had Medicare and other health-care coverage and couldn't see how such a medical card would benefit him. When he told the last caller that he was going to contact a newspaper about the offers, Kenoyer said, the caller hung up.

He said the callers did not identify the medical card they were offering as a government-issued card.

An AARP website lists similar types of solicitations among a half-dozen scams that occur year-round but spike in weeks leading up to the annual window for Medicare participants to make changes in their health and prescription coverage.

In phone calls, and occasionally emails or front-door visits, solicitors tell seniors that Medicare is issuing new cards and that to get theirs they need to provide identifying information such as their Medicare number, birth date or financial account numbers, but identity theft is the real goal.

AARP stresses that Medicare employees don't contact participants through unsolicited calls, emails or visits. They also will not ask for personal identification information unless the senior initiates contact with the agency.

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