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     The Sheriff’s Office is renewing its standard warning about telephone scams targeting citizens in the community.  There are a multitude of phone scams taking place, and we receive many reports of them each week.

     Recently, the Sheriff’s Office was made aware of a phone scam involving Medicare cards.  Fraudulent callers have been telephoning citizens and attempting to get them to verify information on their Medicare cards over the phone.  These calls are not from legitimate sources.  Their purpose is to trick people into revealing or verifying personal information, which can then be used to for identify theft and financial fraud.

    Some of these callers can become very aggressive, calling over and over and at all times of the day, in an attempt to wear down the potential victim.  These criminals will say anything to try to gain a person’s trust, and they may already possess some personal information about the intended victim.  Most of these callers are from out of state or out of the country and cannot be traced.

     It is strongly recommended that people not provide or verify any personal information whatsoever over the phone unless they are absolutely certain that the call is from a legitimate and bond-fide source. 

     Should you be the recipient of one of these scam calls, you should consider reporting them to the following sources:

Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services

Social Security Administration
Office of Public Inquiries 800-772-1213

Federal Trade Commission

     Please take all precautions and don’t become a victim!

/s/ John F. Montgomery
Baxter County Sheriff