Benson - Jim Hartman received three suspicious phone calls this month. He told the News 4 Tucson Investigators that the callers said, "I'm calling from Blue Cross to update your Blue Cross records and your Medicare records. In a very, very heavy Mideast accent."
Jim spent over 30 years in law enforcement and knew it was a scam. He hung up before giving out any personal information. Of course, the callers aren't from Medicare or Blue Cross. They're trying to get your personal information, such as your Medicare card number or Social Security number.
"It's just,the lowest of the low, Jim said. "It's just people picking on others, especially picking on older people, I'm 72. "They are taking hard earned money from people that have earned it and they just want to get it for nothing."
A Medicare spokesman says Medicare will never contact you for personal information, unless you've given permission in advance. A Blue Cross Blue Shield spokesperson says the company doesn't make phone calls to customers to obtain any type of personal health information or Social Security numbers.
We called the number three times that showed up in Hartman's phone, and each time got the recording that "Your call cannot be completed as dialed."
The area code is 547. We researched the number online and found hundreds of complaints from people saying they received the same call as Hartman did, from the same number, with the caller requesting that the recipient update their insurance information.
Susann Miller of the Better Business Bureau of Southern Arizona says if you receive one of these calls, hang up immediately. "If there's any question as to the legitimacy of the caller, just say, 'You know what? I'm going to check into that. Hang up and then call Medicare directly. "
We asked Jim Hartman, "If you could talk to the people who made these calls to you, what would you say?" He replied, "If you spend as much time working at an honest job, as you do trying to make an illegal dollar, you'd be successful."
The BBB of Southern Arizona says the number of scam phone calls being reported to them is way up. Again, if you get one of these calls, hang up immediately. If you have any doubt that it could be legitimate, call or email the company that the caller claimed to be from. You can block the number but phone scammers "spoof" numbers and change them frequently.
If you have any story you'd like us to investigate, email us at email@example.com or call our tip line at 520-955-4444.
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