Last week, a member of our credit union had a close call with a Medicare scam.
The member received a phone call from someone who claimed to be from Medicare. The caller stated that they were going to issue the member a new Medicare card, and needed the member’s account and routing number to proceed.
As soon as the member revealed this information, the line went dead. Sensing trouble, the member immediately called REGIONAL and had alerts placed on the account before any fraudulent withdrawals could occur.
I think this is what they call a “teachable moment.”
First, Medicare is never going to call you asking for your financial account information, nor would they need this in order to issue new cards.
However, I know these people can be convincing on the phone, and when someone is telling you your Medicare could be cut off, it’s hard not to react.
So that’s the other lesson today: if you get that sinking feeling seconds after a phone call or revealing information on a website, call the affected financial institution immediately to have your account locked down (and, ideally, start the process of closing the account and opening a new one with a different number).
If you’ve revealed more than just an account number and are concerned about identity theft, call the three credit reporting agencies right away and have identity theft alerts placed on your credit reports:
Even though you could just call one of the above, and the other two will have the information within 24 hours, go ahead an call all three yourself, just to make sure.
The faster you act, the less chance the bad guys have of harming you.