July 02, 2022

5 Buzzwords Scammers Use That Should Make You Hang Up the Phone

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It’s believed that around two to three million seniors are affected by a scam every year, and among that demographic, the telephone is still the most popular method used by scammers.

While it seems like new scams are used all of the time, many have the same themes. Knowing how to detect these themes can help prevent you from being a victim.

Centers Health Care has five buzzwords that should make alarm bells go off in your head and make you hang up the phone.

  1. Medicare Information

Scammers may suggest phony or unnecessary medical tests and say they’re fully covered by Medicare; all they need is your Medicare number to send you the order. Once you hear someone you’re not familiar with ask for your Medicare number, get off the phone.

  1. Seeking to Access Computer or Smartphone

A fraudster will call and say that your computer or phone has malware or a virus on it; they can fix it, but they will need you to give information or download an app that allows them to access your device. This would be a gateway to identity theft.

  1. A Government Agency Asking for Money

Whether it’s the IRS, Social Security Administration, or any other government agency, all will conduct official communications in writing and will never ask for a payment over the phone.

  1. Grandparent Scam

The grandparent scam is where someone pretends to be a loved one who claims to be in trouble—typically in jail in a foreign country—and will require fast cash. If you get a call like this, don’t panic. Hang up and call the person that the scammer is pretending to be yourself.

  1. If You’re Threatened

In addition to demands for payment by government agencies, another popular scam is someone pretending to be from the utility, phone, or cable company and demanding payment or otherwise will shut off your service. Again, this is typically something that is handled in writing. If you’re not sure, hang up, check to see if you’re current on your bills, and call the particular agency back using the number that you have on file to check the status of your account.

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