Lufkin police warn of possible Medicare phone scam

Released by the Lufkin Police Department:

Lufkin Police have been notified of Lufkin residents receiving phone calls they received where the caller reported to be with, or associated with, Medicare.  One resident reported receiving a phone call from a woman with an Indian accent who was selling an insurance policy or a Medicare Insurance supplement and threatened to have the resident's Social Security payments withheld if they didn't give their Social Security number or bank account information.  When the resident refused to give that information a man called back demanding to know why they refused.  This call was possibly a strong-arm sales tactic by a shady insurance company.

A second Lufkin resident reported that a call was received from a woman with a heavy Asian accent claiming to be with the National Medicare Office.  The caller had the resident's name, birth date and address but wanted their bank account information.  The caller said she was in Las Vegas but the area code she called from was in New York.  A quick fact check call to the Social Security office revealed the call was apparently a scam.

In both cases the person receiving the phone calls wisely refused to give out their personal or banking information.  In both cases the phone numbers on caller ID or left by the caller were found later to be disconnected or not be in use.   "We strongly recommend that people don't give out sensitive personal or financial information to someone who calls them on the phone" said Lufkin Police Dept. spokesman Lt. David Young.  "You never know for sure who is calling and these people used official government sounding names to try and obtain banking information or social security numbers."

Most official government business is conducted by U.S. Mail and is rarely done by calls initiated by telephone according to officials with several government agencies.