CHARLESTON -- West Virginia Attorney General Darrell McGraw is warning the public about fraudulent telephone calls from a bogus company saying it is calling on behalf of Medicare.
McGraw said this company seeks personal information, including Social Security numbers, for purposes of enrolling people in Medicare. There have been numerous calls received at the ElderWatch office from concerned citizens who have experienced these types of calls. ElderWatch is a consumer protection partner of the Attorney General's office and is operated by the AARP Foundation.
McGraw's office says citizens calling ElderWatch to complain have had similar experiences. The scammers are calling individuals asking for their checking account numbers. Those who answer their phones are being told that the government needs to send them new Medicare cards and recipients will not have coverage without the new card.
McGraw's office said the scam has hit the north central part of the state. Reports have been received from Monongalia, Marion, Harrison and Barbour counties.
McGraw warns residents to be alert of anyone wanting personal information and never feel pressured to volunteer such information.
"Scams are damaging to the victims and in times like these we should all provide each other with the accurate knowledge to avoid falling into these fraudulent tricks," McGraw said. "It is my job to educate and protect West Virginia consumers and I want everyone to be highly suspicious of telephone calls from individuals demanding bank account or social security numbers.
"No legitimate government organization or business will call asking for private information by phone."
McGraw's office reminds people that to ensure the safety of personal information, do not provide anything like account numbers or Social Security numbers to anyone who calls asking for it.
If you believe you may have been the victim of this scam contact the Attorney General's Consumer Protection Division at 1-800-368-8808.