7 On Your Side:Phone Scams Still Targeting Seniors, AG Warns - KLTV.com-Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville, Texas | ETX News

2/6/07-Lindale

7 On Your Side:Phone Scams Still Targeting Seniors, AG Warns

Georgia Castle is 71-years-old and on Medicare.  Little did the scammer on the other end of the line know she would be a tough sell.

"She said she was with Medicare and she said she needed to reconfirm all of my information so I can get a new medicare card," says Georgia.

That information meant providing an address, social security number and where she banked.  Then it got more personal.

"Then she said she needed my identification number and I said,'what kind of identification number are you talking about.' 'Well look at the bottom of your check, there are numbers across the bottom,'" says Georgia recalling the conversation.

Georgia refused. The scammer got angry.

"And I finally just told her no I'm not going to give her anymore and I hung up," says Georgia.

One 85-year-old woman did not hang up in the latest scam reported to the attorney general's office.

She lost $16,000 in a lottery scam. It was her entire life savings.

In that scam, the Houston woman was also solicited over the phone. Callers posed as the President of Jamaica, promising large cash prizes if she paid substantial up-front taxes.

Georgia says had she fallen for this trick she would have had bigger problems on her hands.

"Oh I think my bank account would have been stripped in no time," says Georgia.

And if it was this easy for her to follow the common sense rule to just hang up...chances are you could too.

Georgia says she's considering getting rid of her land line so she won't get these type of calls anymore.

This week is National Consumer Protection Week. A website has been set up with information on how to avoid scams. Click here.

Christine Nelson reporting. cnelson@kltv.com

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