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Medicare Scams Hit Hampton Roads Senior Citizens

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Posted at 8:23 PM, Jul 06, 2012
and last updated 2012-07-07 15:06:22-04

Nearly 50 years ago, Frances Coffey and her husband looked each other in the eye and vowed to be together through sickness and health.  She's already beat cancer and a stroke, and he's battling cancer.  So when a man called claiming he had a card they needed to present with their Medicare card, she opened her ears.

"He knew my name, my address, telephone number and everything," said Coffey. "He said 'All senior citizens are getting this to go with their Medicare card.' And I thought well, is there something new with Medicare?"

She kept listening until he asked what she calls one heck of a question.

"What's the name of your bank?" Coffey says he asked.  "I said bank? I don't even know if I have a bank!"

Coffey, concerned about what the man wanted with her banking account information, took action.

"I hung up on him!" she said.

However, countless other senior citizens across the country are falling victim to this medicare scam.  Coffey was the second person in 24 hours to contact NewsChannel 3 about the phone calls.

"It totally sounds like a scam," said Lorraine Ryan, a spokesperson with the Office of Medicare, who said Medicare officials will never call and ask for your banking information over the phone, and neither will supplementary insurance companies.

"If it does happen, it's a scammer," said Ryan.  "They are very much on our radar screen and we're coming after them."

If you've received a call like the one the Coffeys did, call the office of Medicare at 1-800-633-4227.