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Surviving a Scam

I just read the article about viruses in your computer. I would like to address it formally. Yes, there are viruses but in the last 10 to 15 years, there are also little green men also known as scammers who troll the internet looking for a victim. No they are not really little green men. They are men and women. Keep in mind I am writing this from the point of view as someone living in the USA. English is my first and only language. I mean no disrespect if you don't or aren't in this category but it is mine.

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I have been receiving what I thought were a lot of calls from unknown callers out of USA, up to 4 per day. I have since found out people are getting more than 10 calls per day from this type of person. This type person is a scammer.

No, they don't speak english as a first language. In fact when I ask them questions in a very English/American fashion, they stumble. They tell me their name is Bill, Sue, Andy or Karen. I know full well if they have any kind of accent, their names would be more fitting to their accent. not an English name. Sorry I went down a rabbit hole but it's good I did. They want you to do that. The scammers want to unnerve you.

The phone calls I have been getting all say the same thing. They are from the Medicare shipping office or department. The back/neck/hand or knee brace my doctor wants me to have is ready to go.

I used to work at multiple medical equipment companies. Medicare never ships you anything. The person/patient must go to a durable medical equipment company a.k.a. DME and order or buy what it is they need. Durable medical equipment is the only type of product medicare pays for. Now DME companies also have for sale things that medicare does not pay for, like bathroom assistance devices and bed sheets. but that is another story. FYI you can buy durable medical equipment at a pharmacy or even a mail order catalogue. Some will bill medicare and some will not.

Back to medicare. they only pay 80% of what ever you may need and only if it is in the list of items they will pay for. Yes medicare pays for braces of assorted types but they will not call you and say they have it ready to come to you.

Onto another scam I experienced about a month ago. I was sitting at my laptop probably on email. All of a sudden a fire alarm went off in my computer, then lights camera action! It was blinking and beeping. scary as all get out. then a calm woman's voice came on and said "You have completed an ILLEGAL ACTION. you must call your security number at 555 800 5550. Your computer will shut down if you do not comply"

I knew I didn't have a number in my bailiwick I could call and thought "who is this telling me to call this number?" I turned the computer off and left it for about 10 minutes then turned it back on. I have had no other problems.
Now what would have happened had I called that 800 number? I don't know but I encourage YOU to watch on Jim Browning on YouTube. He is a computer geek person from Ireland. He trolls the internet for scammers. He is a reverse scammer. He will tell you that in his videos.

I am a younger person on medicare, 58. I had been working until 3 years ago at a doctor's office but due to a brain tumor and treatment and thyroid cancer and treatment, I had to retire. I heard many stories then of people getting scammed. Even the doctors got scam requests for social security numbers and telling them people requested braces. Nothing was wrong with the person except that they had Medicare. there was no need for the brace being requested.

Be aware of who is calling you. NEVER EVER GIVE OUT ANY IDENTIFICATION NUMBERS INCLUDING SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBERS, MEDICARE NUMBERS, PIN NUMBERS, ACCOUNT NUMBERS. not even your library card number. Only when and if you call the person yourself with and or to a number you know is for the place you want. Never call the number scammers supply. The banks will tell you they do not ask for the information scammers do.

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April 28, 20210 found this helpful

I think, after we reach a certain age, we get put on these lists and scammers hope we're not savvy enough to recognize a scam. I get Medicare, credit cards, car warranty, and others just about every day.

The robocalls try to sound like a real person, but I've started to recognize the voices. When Lee, or Malcolm, or Dave (same guy) calls me to tell me how terrible it's been for the police this year, I'll ask him what they're planning to do for the families of the innocent people who've been killed. Usually it cuts off at that point. I have police officers in my own family and I know they don't do this.

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One morning a young woman told me there was a problem with my Medicare number, so "run get your Medicare card so we can check." I asked her to repeat that, and then I asked, "Are you freakin' kidding me? I'm not giving my number to a stranger."

When the "IRS" called and said there was a warrant for my arrest, and the sheriff was on his way to do it, we'd just gotten a refund, so I knew we didn't owe any money. I told the guy that I was in Texas, and even the liberals are packing down here, so if he wanted to take his chances on whether I had a gun or not, to bring it on.

Never heard the doorbell ring!

As I've been typing this I've gotten 3 scammer calls. Just now, a very foreign-sounding man told me he was "Jimmy Carter." I asked if it was our President Carter (as I'm laughing). When he told me he was calling from the "Mega-Millions" contest, I stopped him, told him I knew it was a scam, and goodbye.

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These people are counting on scamming elderly people, but even though I'm close to 70, I've been on the internet now since I was in my 40s. My mother is 93, but when she gets one, she starts singing, "Do You Know My Jesus," and they hang up on her.

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April 29, 20210 found this helpful

I don't answer my phone anymore if I don't recognize the number. I have missed calls I was expecting but most everyone will leave a voice mail and then I can call right back. Nearly every time I do answer it, it's a sales call or outright scam.

My son answers every time and keeps them on the line as long as possible. He says it wastes their time so they can't call another person. He's always polite but they often disconnect as soon as he asks a reasonable question, like "Tell me more about what you are offering." As soon as they are asked a question that is off their script, they get confused and hang up.

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I'm pretty sure most of these calls are handled by a computer with call centers in India, probably.

You can add any fraudulent calls to the Do Not Call Registry if you are in the U.S. It is supposed to help stop them but I find that the phone numbers seem to change. I've even gotten a call from my own phone number.

www.donotcall.gov/

Above all, do not trust phone calls/emails to be real and never give out any personal information or click on links. The IRS will never call you and the police will always have a real person on the phone. You can always look up a phone number and call them back if they are a valid creditor.

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