Consumer protection agency warns of increase in Medicare scams targeting elderly

2011-11-18T06:30:00Z Consumer protection agency warns of increase in Medicare scams targeting elderlyGEORGE HESSELBERG | ghesselberg@madison.com | 608-252-6140 | @GHessWSJ madison.com

Open enrollment for Medicare means open season for identity scams on seniors, state consumer protection officials warned Thursday.

The Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection noted a marked increase this week in elderly consumers reporting calls from people posing as a representative of Medicare or an insurance company.

The caller, referring to prescription drug refunds, for example, asks for personal information, such as a Social Security number or bank account number. The caller is an identity thief, said consumer protection spokeswoman Sandy Chalmers.

Never provide personal information unless you made the initial contact and know whom you are dealing with, she advised.

For more information contact the Bureau of Consumer Protection at 800-422-7128 or email datcphotline@wisconsin.gov.

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