BBB warns of phone scams targeting seniors

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The Better Business Bureau says crooks are targeting seniors with a new scam involving phone calls from people pretending to be with your doctor’s office.

It is happening at a time when Memphians and Mid-Southerners have their hands full just dealing with life in a pandemic. Now, there’s a new scam out there targeting seniors with phony phone calls from a doctor’s office.

“In some cases they’re trying to get Medicare information and commit Medicare fraud, and that’s going to tend to be seniors,” Randy Hutchinson, the president of the BBB Mid-South, said.

Hutchinson says the past couple of weeks almost a dozen reports have been filed with the BBB’s scam tracker service.

“I will tell you if the crooks are making this many phone calls, somebody is falling for it. They wouldn’t be wasting their time if they were not getting a return for their effort,” Hutchinson said.

In most cases, these calls are from a scammer claiming to be with a doctor’s office needing Medicare and payment information. In other cases, the caller claimed to be a doctor who’d prescribed a back or knee brace, and they needed Medicare or payment information.

“One lady, an elderly lady, an 89 year old lady described  her caller as pretty aggressive, demanding and believable,” Hutchison said.

In another case, a woman says she received calls from a scammer who knew her doctor’s name. The BBB recommends the following tips to keep you safe.

“You know we always advise people if your caller ID shows a number you don’t recognize, don’t answer it and be careful when you do answer it,” Hutchinson said. “If you hear a pre-recorded robo call launching into a sales pitch, hang-up. Those are almost by definition illegal.”

If you receive one of these calls or have questions about them call the Better Business Bureau of the Mid-South right away.

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