Beware of phone scam affecting Tri-State

CINCINNATI -- New information from the Better Business Bureau Thursday is warning seniors of the latest phone scam that's targeting the wallets of elderly Tri-State residents.

Rose Wright, of Finneytown, is just one of several local seniors who has dealt with a convincing scam that's recently hit the area.

Wright lives a quiet life in retirement, tending to her bird feeders and saying no thank you to sales people and telemarketers.

But she let her guard down recently when a caller woke her up very early in the morning.

"I was sound asleep and the woman says they are issuing a new Medicare card, and they needed to confirm my information," Wright said.

Wright -- groggy and a bit confused -- asked the caller to identify herself.

The woman said she was with Medicare, and had Wright's name, address and phone number.

"They had all sorts of information about me, and I thought it was legitimate," she said.

The woman asked Wright what bank she used, then said she needed the account number to set up her new Medicare benefits.

"She asked, ‘Your account number, can you get it off your check?' And I went and got a check and gave it to them," Wright said.

But after she hung up, Wright got suspicious.

She called the Medicare office, and learned the whole thing was a scam to get her bank account number.

The Better Business Bureau recently issued an alert about this scam, saying Medicare will never call you to send you a new card, or to confirm account numbers.

Wright raced to her bank to cancel her account, furious that people would do such a thing to seniors.

"I think they are the lowest scum on Earth, taking advantage of elderly people," she said.

This con is similar to another phone scam that's affecting the Tri-State.

This second scam claims you have a free Life Alert system waiting -- and all you have to do to claim it is give a credit card number.

If you encounter a caller you don't know, never give them your personal information so you don't waste your money.


Don't Waste Your Money is a registered trademark of the EW Scripps Co.

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