St. Louis Public Radio News
6:31 pm
Mon June 14, 2010

Scammers target Medicare rebate checks

Jefferson City, Mo. – Elderly Missourians who qualify for $250 rebate checks from Medicare are being warned to watch out for scam artists.

The checks that are being mailed out are legitimate, but seniors who receive them may be targeted. State Attorney General Chris Koster says recipients should not give out their personal information to anyone calling to ask for it.

"Either with their own Social Security numbers or credit card numbers...or the scammer wants you to endorse that check over to a third party, all of those things are off-limits," Koster said.

Scammers may also try to convince those not receiving $250 Medicare rebates that they are eligible and then try to access their personal information. Koster says so far, no one has been stung by the scam.

"But there's such a high degree of concern about this issue, that the federal government and attorneys general all over the country are really trying to get the word out in order to sensitize seniors that these scam artists are likely to be out there and to have their guard up," Koster said.

Koster recommends politely hanging up on any such calls. But he also asks recipients with caller I.D. who can make note of the phone number of a potential scammer to provide that information to the State Attorney General's office in Jefferson City.

Those targeted by scammers can also call 1-800-MEDICARE or go to www.stopmedicarefraud.gov.