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Police: New Medicare Scams Target Seniors

Criminals pose as health care agents and are tricking senior citizens into sharing their personal information.

Seniors beware: The Better Business Bureau and the Northfield Township Police Department are reporting a scam alert on Medicare card calls that are tricking seniors into sharing their personal information.

Officer Tammie Colling of Northfield Township said in some instances the caller contacts a senior and claims to be with Medicare, informing the senior that they will be receiving a new Medicare card in the mail. The caller advises that a direct deposit system needs to be set up so the Medicare funds can be deposited into the victim's bank account. The caller then requests the senior's banking information.

Another variation of the scam, according to Colling, involves callers asking the senior to verify his or her identity in order to receive the new card. The caller requests the current Medicare card number, which is the same as the victim's Social Security number. After a few more questions regarding personal information, the caller is able to steal an individual's identity.

"Do not give your personal information out over the phone or Internet. Medicare has your personal information and will not need you to provide it to them," Colling said.

Coupon scams are also popping up this year, she said.

"When searching online for a coupon be cautious of those that offer a significantly better deal. When you click on the link it will ask you for your email address and telephone number before the coupon will be sent," Colling said.

After completing the form, users may be directed to an unrelated promotional product.

"This is a way to collect names and contact information to be sold, and you soon will be receiving spam calls, text messages and emails," she said.

Other coupon deals may be fraudulent. If you believe a coupon is fake, look it up through the coupon information center at http://www.couponinformationcenter.com/index.php

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