One Hoboken senior told police recently that she received a “scam phone call.” The victim said a person claiming to be a “representative of the senior medical office.”
The caller told the elderly woman that a Medicare card was in the process of being issued, but that more information was needed.
The person on the ohter end of the line asked the woman for her social security number and checking account number. The woman gave it to the caller, police said.
The woman was told she would receive her new Medicare card in about three to four weeks and if she had any problems to call 866-468-9419.
The victim does not have caller identification but said that the caller spoke with an eastern European accent, police said.
Unfortunately, senior citizens are often targets of phone scams because con artists believe they are more susceptible, police said.
Here are some tips from the Hoboken Police Department when you’re targeted by con artists or unwanted telemarketers:
Tip #1: Never give personal information, such as bank account or social security numbers, to anyone over the phone, unless you initiated the call and know you reached the right agency.
Your Reply: “I don’t give out personal information over the phone. I’ll contact the company directly”.
Tip #2: Don’t believe it if the caller tells you to send money to cover the “handling charge” or to pay taxes.
Your Reply: “I shouldn’t have to pay for something that’s free”.
Tip #3: “Limited time offers” shouldn’t require you to make a decision on the spot.
Your Reply: “I’ll think about it and call you back, what’s your number”?
Tip #4: Be suspicious of anyone who tells you not to discuss the offer with anyone else.
Your Reply : “I’ll discuss it with my friends and family and get back to you”.
Tip #5: If you don’t understand all the verbal details, ask for it in writing.
Your Reply: I can’t make a decision until I receive written information.
The scammer will most likely keep trying to convince his intended victim, so it’s best to hang up after delivering the comeback line.
Fraudulent telemarketers may also use a senior’s forgetfulness against them. The scammer may tell his target that he’s with a well-known charity, and the senior has forgotten to send a check for a pledge.
In the event that you are the victim of a scam or fraud, do not be embarrassed, it is important that you notify the police immediately. The Hoboken Police Department’s number is 201-420-2100.