If we were having coffee today I’d be inclined to warn you about a new telephone scam that is making the rounds. This one is designed to prey upon helpless old people. They hope. It centers on the “new” Medicare card. I must be on some heavy hitters list because I get calls for this one almost every day.
I generally try to be polite on the phone. Even with telemarketers and scammers. This one is obviously a scam because it starts out by asking if the one has received the new Medicare card. They will then explain that they are here to help you to activate the new card. Since I only recently joined Medicare I knew this was bogus. It told me immediately they wanted to use this ruse to get unsuspecting people to divulge their Social Security Numbers. In some cases, they want to charge a fee to help you activate your new card, which was already activated the moment you received it.
Sigh. I started out telling them I wasn’t interested in whatever they wanted to offer me. They try to scare you by telling you, through their heavy accents, that they ARE Medicare. Medicare doesn’t initiate any kind of call. I generally ask to be taken off the list. One woman told me that she could not take me off the list until I answered all of her questions. I told her I was reporting them to the FCC (useless since the phone number is spoofed–not valid) and she responded by chanting “bless this call, bless this call, bless this call, bless this call” … I just hung up.
So the next day I got ANOTHER call. They have a lot of information, name address, obviously phone number. Affirm NOTHING! On this latest call, when the guy asked if I received the new card I answered “No. I’m not on Medicare.”
Obviously, his script had some component for that answer and he started, “Okay …” but before he could continue I just went off on him.
“I don’t have Medicare or Social Security. I don’t pay taxes and I don’t have anything to do with the United States Government whatsoever …” I was just rattling off anything I could think of. I hesitated, and the line was silent for a long interval, and he said, “Uhhhh,” and hung up.
I’m tired of not being able to answer my phone. I’m taking it back and proceeding to have a bit of fun in the process. I know someone who just puts it down on the table and walks away and comes back later and hangs it up. I know someone else who blasts a loud air horn. I think I’ll stick with crazy. Nice but crazy. They want to mail you a packet? Say you don’t get mail anymore, that you opted out. No Social Security, no Medicare, no Credit Cards, no Banks. Money? You don’t use it, never have. You don’t even know whose phone this is … You don’t even know where you are.
Be alert and aware and let’s take our phones back.
Uh, since I don’t use money, could you pay?
Thomas Fenske is an author living in North Carolina. You can get more information on his books at http://thefensk.com./main.html