“The lady said I'm calling from Medicare. I want to go over your health insurance. You are Martin Thuna? I said yes.”
The caller identified herself as Linda and provided a Medicare ID number. Martin says she also had his address. But to confirm she was really speaking with Martin, she asked for a key piece of information, the group number from his Medicare card.
That's when Martin realized something was fishy because the group number is his social security number.
Martin says he wasn't willing to give the caller his social. So he asked if he could call back later. But she wasn't willing to provide her phone number.
Martin told his wife to hang up. Then he called and alerted Medicare.
“These scam artists can be very smart,” Lori Powers with Nevada Senior Medicare Patrol told us.
Nevada's Senior Medicare Patrol confirms this was a bogus call. And in an effort to prevent possible identity theft, Medicare has been working to remove social security numbers from all membership cards.
“New cards should be coming out in Nevada really at any time. We are in the next wave for them to come out,” Powers said.
But the change has led to a rise in phony phone calls, as thieves try taking advantage of confused Medicare members.
“Obviously Medicare will return your call if you have an inquiry in with them. But they're not going to call you out of the blue to ask for your Medicare number or your social security number.
And that's a lesson Martin says we can all use when answering a call from any business.
If you have questions about a potential Medicare scam you can contact Nevada Senior Medicare Patrol at (888) 838-7305 or click on this link.