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Scammers Posing with Medicare Seek Social Security Numbers

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Scammers are asking for your social security number off your old Medicare card. Scammers are asking for your social security number off your old Medicare card.
Linda Matkins is helping protect the elderly from this scam. Linda Matkins is helping protect the elderly from this scam.
Matkins says Medicare will never call you unless you call first. Matkins says Medicare will never call you unless you call first.
AUGUSTA COUNTY, Va. (WVIR) -

Staunton Police and Shenandoah Valley Social Services are warning people of a new scam regarding health care. Scammers are calling Medicare recipients and asking for their social security numbers to activate their new cards.

Linda Matkins is an adult protective services worker for Shenandoah Valley Social Service in Waynesboro, and warning the elderly about scams is a big part of her job.

Matkins admitted that the scam is so believable, that it almost fooled her, and says it would have easily fooled her 85-year-old mother.

“I was visiting my mom and she got a phone call and she didn’t understand what the fellow was saying and so she handed me the phone and the man said that he was with the Medicare pharmacy and that he was a visitation officer and that he needed to activate my mother’s new Medicare card,” Medicare said.

In order to activate the new card, the scammer told Matkins he needed the number off her mother’s old Medicare card, which was her social security number. This raised Matkins suspicions and later, Matkins heard several people in the valley who’ve received a similar call.

“I told the man I knew it was a scam and that I was going to report him and he cursed me and hung up,” Matkins said. “These are really bad people and we need to stop them.”

Some have fallen victim to the scam. According to Matkins, one woman who gave out her number ended up getting $2,000 worth of medical equipment in the mail and ending up charging Medicare and her insurance. 

“A lot of times, [the older] generation doesn’t want to be impolite,” Matkins said. “They want to talk to whoever it is. They will not hang up.”

According to Matkins, Medicare will never call you, unless you call first. They’ll also never ask for personal or banking information over the phone. 

“What we tell everybody the best thing to do is to just hang up the phone,” Matkins said.

Shenandoah Valley Social Services is asking people to report the call to Medicare Services at 1-800-MEDICARE and to inform local police departments.