Crime Watch

Crime Watch: Readers point out more scams to avoid

 

Special to The Miami Herald

Below are two emails I received after my last column on scams that have been making the rounds.

Dear Carmen:

I read your article in today’s Neighbors on the latest scams. I have received four telephone calls over the past six weeks with yet another one. The person calling says they want to send me a new Medicare card and proceeds to verify my address and telephone number, which they have and are correct. Then he or she states in order to send the Medicare card they need my bank account number. I didn’t pay attention to the number on my caller ID the first two calls (I just hung up the phone), but the last two calls were from 409-574-1214. It would appear they are targeting seniors. I know there is not much you can do except warn everyone, but I would like seniors to be aware of this scam if at all possible.

Thank you,

Patricia

* * *

Dear Carmen:

A commercial on television was advertising health insurance. About a month ago I called the number and spoke to a representative who appeared immediately to be a fast-talker. I explained that I was looking for health insurance for my wife who has a pre-existing condition and was wanting to know when the Affordable Care Act would be going into effect. He immediately stated that was no problem, that his brokerage dealt with all the health-insurance companies and they had a few that would take a person with a pre-existing condition. This was a red flag to me so I stayed on the phone to see where this was going. He asked me what I could afford as a monthly premium I stated about $200. He stated that they had a couple of companies that could meet that number.

I then asked what the coverage was? Would it handle hospital care and clinic visitations? He quickly stated, "Yes. Full coverage.”

Too good to be true.

He then stated that he would submit my request to the company.

I asked him the name of the company and he responded, "well there are several." He could not tell me the name of the company until I was accepted and he could not tell me the exact coverage until I was accepted.

He then asked for my name and address and my credit card number.

When I asked why he wanted my credit card number he stated that the insurance companies wanted the number before they would look at an application. It indicated that I was serious. I told him I would not give him my card number and he got very aggressive and almost belligerent. I told him I would call him back. He stated that the deal may not still be good. One hour later another salesman from the same company called (from Boca Raton) and wanted to try to sell me on the urgency of doing the deal before the health insurance company changed its mind. I declined.

I wrote to the Florida Attorney General’s office and filed a complaint. They wrote back that they referred it to another agency. Two days ago I received a call from the brokerage firm wanting to know if I was still looking for health insurance.

Thank you,

Richard

Carmen Caldwell is executive director of Citizens’ Crime Watch of Miami-Dade. Send feedback and news for this column to carmen@citizenscrimewatch.org, or call her at 305-470-1670.

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