Consumer Alert: Medicare Card Scam Warning
Updated: Aug 24, 2022
CONCORD, NH – Attorney General John M. Formella issues a consumer alert warning about recent reports of scammers impersonating New Hampshire Division of Emergency Services and Communications (“DESC”) employees in order to obtain sensitive personal information from New Hampshire residents.
The scam is a Medicare-related fishing scam. A fishing scam is a fraudulent practice of contacting individuals and pretending to be from a reputable company or agency in order to induce individuals to provide personal identifying information.
New Hampshire residents reported receiving calls from the direct line of one of DESC’s data control clerk’s with a caller ID showing “NHEGCY.” The caller asked the residents to verify their Medicare and Social Security numbers, telling the residents that the information was needed in order to issue a new Medicare card.
One resident was called four times over a few days. Each caller was different, although each spoke with a Russian or Eastern European accent and in each case chatter was audible in the background of the call. Each time, the phone number that appeared on the resident’s caller ID was different, with the caller ID showing “NH Bureau of ECGY” on one of the calls. The callers asked for the resident each time by first name.
These reports are recent examples of the general trend of scammers using fishing scams to try obtain personal information from New Hampshire residents. To avoid being the victim of a fishing scam, Attorney General Formella advises New Hampshire residents that:
· You should not answer phone calls from numbers that you do not recognize;
· You should never give personal information over the phone; and
· You should confirm the legitimacy of any person claiming to be a representative of a state agency by contacting the particular state agency through its official contact email or phone number. A listing of every state agency and links to each agency’s website and contact information can be found at https://www.nh.gov/government/agencies.htm.
If you or a loved one has lost money or property as a result of a fishing scam, please call your local police department and the New Hampshire Consumer Protection Hotline at (603) 271-3641.
In addition, anyone with knowledge that a vulnerable adult has been scammed or financially exploited should also contact the New Hampshire Bureau of Elderly and Adult Services, at 1-800-949-0470.