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4:28 PM Tue, Nov. 20th

Better Business Bureau warns of Medicare back brace con

Scammers often target seniors by pretending to be representatives of insurance companies or health care companies. Recently, the Better Business Bureau (BBB) is seeing a new twist on this classic con: calls from “Medicare” claiming to have your new back brace.

HOW THE SCAM WORKS

You pick up the phone, and it’s someone pretending to be a Medicare representative. From there, the con has two typical patterns, according to the BBB. The scammer will either offer you a back brace through Medicare or claim that a caregiver previously called about receiving a back brace from Medicare.

If you show interest in the brace, the scammer will start asking for personal information, such as your social security number or a Medicare number, to access the benefits.

“Don’t fall for these phony claims, even if the calls are persistent,” said Prescott Valley Police Department spokesperson Jerry Ferguson. “The callers offer no company name and may even hang up on you if you ask for further company information.”

If you have Medicare, the federal health insurance program should already have basic information about you on file, such as your name and address.

“A call claiming you have been identified for an offer (but doesn’t have your name or other information) is probably blasted out to thousands of phone numbers,” Ferguson said. “Treat your Medicare number like your credit card info or other personal details. Do not share it with unsolicited callers.”

To learn more about scams, go to BBB Scam Tips (bbb.org/scamtips). To report a scam, go to BBB Scam Tracker (bbb.org/scamtracker).