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During This Year's Open-Enrollment Period, AARP Alabama Warns of an Increase in Medicare-Related Scams


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(OPEN):
MEDICARE'S ANNUAL OPEN-ENROLLMENT PERIOD IS UNDERWAY--WHICH MEANS THAT MEDICARE-RELATED SCAMS ARE EXPECTED TO INCREASE.  BILL HAWKINS--OF "A-A-R-P ALABAMA"--EXPLAINS WHAT TO LOOK OUT FOR...

(HAWKINS):
"
SCAMMERS OFTEN IMITATE MEDICARE-EMPLOYEES; THEY WANT TO CAPTURE YOUR MEDICARE-NUMBER--SO THEY CAN CHARGE MEDICARE FOR SERVICES THAT YOU DIDN'T RECEIVE.  IN OTHER CASES, THEY'LL SAY THAT YOU'RE ENTITLED TO A REFUND FOR LAST YEAR'S PREMIUMS--BUT YOU HAVE TO GIVE YOUR BANK-INFORMATION.  THAT'S JUST ANOTHER LIE TO GET YOUR BANK-ACCOUNT NUMBER--AND POSSIBLY DRAIN YOUR FUNDS.  WHAT'S MORE, CROOKED SALESPEOPLE USE OPEN-ENROLLMENT TO SELL PRODUCTS THAT SUPPOSEDLY WILL SAVE YOU THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS.  BUT, THEIR MOTIVATION IS OFTEN TO SELL YOU UNNEEDED POLICIES--AND IMPROVE THEIR BOTTOM-LINE."

(BRIDGE):
HAWKINS ALSO DESCRIBES HOW PEOPLE CAN PROTECT THEMSELVES...

(HAWKINS):
"
IF YOU GET AN UNSOLICITED CALL FROM SOMEONE WHO CLAIMS TO BE FROM MEDICARE, HANG UP--IMMEDIATELY.  MOST IMPORTANTLY, DON'T SHARE YOUR PERSONAL INFORMATION WITH ANYONE WHO CONTACTS YOU OUT OF THE BLUE; MEDICARE WILL NEVER CALL AND ASK FOR YOUR PERSONAL INFORMATION--UNLESS YOU'VE REQUESTED THAT THEY CALL YOU.  LASTLY, DON'T RELY ON 'CALLER I-D'; IT CAN BE TRICKED."

(CLOSE):
TO LEARN MORE, VISIT "A-A-R-P"-DOT-ORG-SLASH-"FRAUD-WATCH-NETWORK".



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