SCAMS & THIEVES
We at Elkin Insurance care about our community and want everyone to be safe. You worked hard for your money and the agents at Elkin Insurance dose NOT want you to fall pray to the thieves and scammers.
Fraud can happen to anyone.
Scam attempts that play on your emotions and seek to gain your trust are becoming more frequent and more effective. Elkin Insurance will never contact you and ask for personal information by text, email, or an unsolicited phone call. This includes unsolicited calls that ask you to obtain or provide a one-time passcode.
How scammers may contact you.
Their messages can sound urgent, seem familiar, often be poorly worded or contain other errors, and even use your personal information to convince you they’re legitimate.
Scammers can even pose as your agent or someone assigned to help you instead of your agent — you may see “Your Insurance Companies Name” appear as an email sender’s name, in the caller or text ID, and the telephone number displayed may be an actual Insurance telephone number.
Here are some known scams to avoid:
1 - Scammers impersonating Medicare employees called many beneficiaries, telling them they needed to verify personal information or pay a processing fee to get their new card.
2 - A variations on the con may claim you need to replace or upgrade your Medicare card. Medicare will NEVER call you or email you.
3 - They might try to entice you to pay a fee to switch from a paper to a plastic card, or one with a chip.
Medicare DOES NOT offer cards with chips.
4 - Thieves ask for a new identifying number to “activate” your card.
5 - They may assert that your new card isn’t the right one and won’t work; they’ll offer to send a replacement if you provide personal information, such as a Social Security # or date of birth.
6 - Another trick is to claim there’s been suspicious activity on your Medicare account. Medicare will NEVER call you or email you.
7 - Some might threaten to cancel your Medicare coverage unless you provide personal information. No one can cancel your Medicare.
8 - An unsolicited caller purports to be from, someone like your doctor's office, do due diligence and call the office using a phone number that you know is genuine.
9- Be suspicious of any unexpected callers or visitors offering COVID-19 tests or supplies. If your personal information is compromised, it may be used in other schemes.
10 - Do not respond to, or open hyperlinks in, text messages about COVID-19 from unknown individuals.
11 - Ignore offers or ads on social media sites touting COVID-19 testing or treatments.
12 - A physician or other trusted health care provider should assess your condition and approve a request for COVID-19 testing.
13 - Be aware of scammers pretending to be COVID-19 contact tracers. Legitimate contact tracers will never ask for your Medicare number or financial information.
14 -Con artists were telling Medicare beneficiaries that they were eligible for “COVID Wellness Kits” containing hand sanitizer or face masks. Or they were promised in-home COVID-19 tests or additional Medicare coverage.
15 -Criminals have been posing as medical or hospital employees, telling people that their doctor wants them to be tested for the coronavirus. The crooks will set up phony appointments and demand that a copay be submitted in advance by credit card, citing a need for contactless payment.
16 - Fraudsters have been going to people's homes to administer fake tests for COVID-19. They've also set up sham drive-through test sites. Others have touted fake cures and treatments for an illness for which there currently is no cure.
18 - Fraudsters are hijacking Facebook accounts and posing as other people, boasting about having received an Health and Human Services (HHS) grant, ranging from $5,000 to $15,000, because of the COVID-19 crisis.
19 - "If someone you don't know offers to help you [buy groceries, prescriptions or supplies], be wary. Some scammers offer to buy supplies, but never return with the goods — or your money. Use an established delivery service or order directly from the store. Many grocery stores and pharmacies are offering contactless delivery.
"If you need additional help, the [government's] Eldercare Locator can connect you to services for older adults and their families. Visit the Eldercare Locator or call 1-800-677-1116."
20 - Another trick is to claim your child or grand child has been arrested and needs bail or that they have been injured and needs money. Some claiming to be a relative want money to come visit or to return home.
21 - There are also pop up Covid sites designed to gain your personal information. To protect yourself, only use official websites and facilities that you are familiar with.
22 - Another Scam is to call saying that you won a prize like the "Publishers Clearing House" $5,000 per week for life, the only requirement from you to do is to pay a fee by means of a money transfer or Western Union transfer in the amount of $499. The key to their success is that they do not ask you any personal information, they ask you to write down some key steps for you to do and they sound very professional. DO NOT SEND MONEY TO PEOPLE YOU DO NOT KNOW!
23 - You receive a unsolicited phone call asking if you have Medicare Part A & B. If you answer yes then they ask you if you want a debit cart to by groceries. If you answer yes then you have given them "legal permission" to have agents call and harass you to change Medicare plans. Please, Only talk to a local agent and not someone who calls you on the phone and starts to ask you personal questions.
24- Recently a client received a phone call claiming to be from their bank and stating that they were working with the FBI to catch a scammer. They asked her to move $180,000 into another account to bait the scammers so they could catch them. Fortunately her husband called their banking representative and after a lot of work she was able to prevent any monies from being transferred.
25- Cut your internet or cable rate in half. Require that you pay the entire bill up front NOW!
26- Scammers pose as your telephone provider then ask for your account login information then they use it to
obtain your phone number to scam others under your number.
27- You may get a text or email stating that you Amazon or other accounts are going to be suspended and need to click a link provided. DO NOT click the link! If in doubt call the company from a trusted and know resource instead.
Some Caribbean countries make a large part of their nations income by scamming Americans.
Don't be one of their next victims!
Watch for phony-looking addresses—even if the sender seems familiar. Never open links or attachments in emails you don’t fully trust. Report email scams that pretend to be Elkin Insurance to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Be suspicious of texts from outside your saved contacts. Don’t open any links or provide personal or account information.
Seem like a real person in that chat, but strange links or requests for money are signs it could be a scam.
Scammers can use local area codes to get you to answer. Think twice before picking up.
Keep a script by the phone and use it to thwart the crooks:
“I do not give out personal information in an unsolicited call."
If somebody is calling saying they're from "Medicare", the best thing to do is hang up!
Do hang up immediately if you get an unsolicited call from someone who claims to be from Medicare and asks for personal information.
Do destroy your old Medicare card, if you haven’t already. Run it through a shredder, or cut it up with scissors.
Do give your Medicare number only to trusted providers of your health care and coverage, such as doctors, pharmacists, insurers and state health agencies that work with Medicare.
Don’t share your Medicare or Social Security number with anyone who contacts you by phone, text or email or shows up unannounced at your door.
Don’t send or give your old Medicare card to anyone. Impostors may claim you need to return it. The government recommends that you destroy it.
Don’t believe a caller is a Medicare employee simply because he or she knows some information about you. Scammers will have done their homework.
If you suspect a Medicare card scam, report it to Medicare at 800-633-4227.
You can also call the FTC at 877-438-4338.
The best thing for you and you friends is your trusted local agent who is here to help you.
Elkin Insurance is a trusted local source for reliable information where you can meet face to face with a professional agent at a brick and mortar office, online, on the phone or the comfort of your home.
Call today and experience the Elkin Insurance difference. At Elkin Insurance "We Care About You".