Officials Report that Medical Phone Scams on the Rise in Montana

Montanans need to beware of callers trying to obtain personal information
 
The Montana Senior Medicare Patrol (SMP) program has recently received several reports of apparent telephone scams across Montana in which callers are trying to get personal information under the guise of updating or renewing Medical cards. The callers already have the bank routing numbers and have all tried to obtain bank account numbers.
 
“Medicare will never call you because they already have your information,” said Renee Labrie-Shanks, Montana SMP Program Manager. “Anyone calling to talk about changes to Medicare, or anything to do with the Affordable Care Act, is a scammer.” Additionally, since these calls use the generic term “medical”, it leaves people more apt to assign it to whatever is going on in their lives at the moment. In one case, someone just renewed their Medicare Part D plan and assumed this had something to do with that and gave out their number.
 
If you should receive a call from someone trying to collect your personal information, do not tell them anything, she advises. Instead, try to gather as much information as you can about the person calling, and then report the calls. If you did give out your bank account information, speak to your bank immediately and possibly even close your account. You can report any suspicious or potentially fraudulent healthcare calls to your local Montana SMP by calling 1-800-332-2272.
 
Montana SMP is a statewide program which fights healthcare fraud by educating older adults on how to protect, detect and report fraud. Missoula Aging Services administers the program through partner organizations around the state.
 
For more information on medical identity theft, visit the Federal Trade Commission’s site on this topic here.

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