Medicare scams progressively worsening, expert says

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There are many scams targeting Arizona’s seniors. Medical specialist Lorra Brandwein said that Medicare scams are progressively getting worse.

Lorra said that at times, her clients won’t even answer their phones because they are so used to being bombarded by scammers trying to get information from them. At times, a scammer will say that they are from Medicare and ask for personal information, like Medicare or social security numbers.

“I think what ends up happening is too is that some of the elderly get intimidated to say ‘No I don’t want to talk to you’ or to even ask the simple question of  ‘Can I have your phone number and call you back,'” Brandwein said.

A lot of times when seniors click onto a website, it gives the website permission to contact them, Brandwein said.

She said some seniors are getting bombarded with “at least” a dozen phone calls a day.

“What’s hard is that those of us who are really trying to reach prospects or to really help people, we can’t get through because they won’t believe that one, we’re real, or two, they simply won’t answer their phone,” Brandwein said.

Sometimes information is sold to scammers, and sometimes they grab information from the internet.

“They know your age, they know your name, your telephone number. They get ahold of you and they say ‘hey we heard you were trying to reach out.’ Kind of a bait and switch,” Brandwein said.

She said that medicare is already incredibly complicated and confusing, and misleading commercials only exacerbate the problem.

“The whole idea is to get the senior citizen to call and question whether or not they are on the right plan. They call and then they get enticed into switching their plan, whether or not that plan is in the best interest of the senior citizen,” Brandwein said.

Lorra Brandwein, Medicare broker

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