Free Medical Services? NO, NO, NO
Last week, it was Colorado that was issuing an alert alert about a recent scam that has hit the state and probably several others. Then, it was the state of Washington--which also warns there have been reports of the same scam in Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Texas and Virginia. And now add Maryland to the list.
Here's how the scam works: A telemarketer claiming to be from the state's "Department of Health" calls and offers vouchers for up to $1,000 in free medical services. The caller usually has the consumer's name, adddress, date of birth and name of the consumer's bank--making the consumer that think the caller is with a real government agency. The telemarketer reads the routing number for the bank or credit union and then asks the consumer to recite the next five numbers on his/her checks. THESE FIVE NUMBERS ARE THE CONSUMER'S ACCOUNT NUMBER. That gives the scamsters all they need to know to tap into a bank account.
The alert said the telemarketers are very persistent; one consumer was called eight times in two and a half weeks despite her requests to stop.
Moral: NEVER, EVER provide personal or financial information on an unsolicited telemarketing call. You never know who you are dealing with.
January 25, 2006; 11:49 AM ET
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