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'Medicare' scam doesn't trip up local woman

Sharon Fitzgerald was not an easy target this week when she got the telephone call from the "federal government."

The caller wanted information on the Medicare patient in the home. No number registered on her Caller ID.

Why, Fitzgerald asked.

"Somebody was calling from the federal government wanting Medicare information from me," Fitzgerald said. "I know the federal government doesn't do that, doesn't make phone calls."

Fitzgerald said the caller asked for her by name and didn't speak English very well.

She began her own interrogation.

"I asked who he was, where he was from and he was kind of vague about it," she recalled. "I told him I knew it was a scam and you've got the wrong person and he hung up on me."

Scam artists have developed a variety of ways to extract personal information from unsuspecting targets.

Medicare information usually entails Social Security information, medical and bank records.

Sheriff Frank Homer will address these very scams to seniors next week at the Nevis Senior Citizen. His talk will be June 9 at 1 p.m.

Meanwhile, consumers can take a very valuable lesson from Fitzgerald: Be skeptical and turn the tables on your caller.

Sarah Smith

Sarah Smith is the outdoors editor. She covers courts, business and breaking news in addition to outdoors events.

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