How low can scammers go? As low as stealing from older consumers to line their own pockets. The FTC says some scammers claimed to be calling on behalf of the government to verify information for a new Medicare card or Medicare-related package. In fact, it was a ruse to get people’s bank account information to make unauthorized withdrawals from their accounts.
The callers said they needed to verify people’s identities using information that included the consumers’ bank account numbers. According to the FTC, the scammers told people that the information would not be used to debit their bank accounts, and that there was no charge for their services. But the FTC alleges that was a lie. Within a month or two, victims learned their bank accounts had been debited, often for $400 or more.
At the FTC’s request, a federal court has temporarily halted this scheme that took millions of dollars from consumers without their consent. The FTC is seeking to permanently end the operation and return victims’ money.
No matter your age, you may know someone who has been scammed by telemarketing fraud. They may not talk about it, but the statistics do. The good news is, you can do something about it. Become an FTC ambassador. Share what you know, by passing this blog post on to your friends, family or neighbors. Let them know never to give out their bank account information to someone who contacts them over the phone. It could lead to a scammer taking money right out of their account.
Be sure to talk with the older family members about these scams!
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