More than 7 million seniors, some 20 percent of those over the age of 65, have either been ripped off or scammed.
Now the latest scam targeting the elderly has arrived in KELOLAND. But one woman’s quick thinking helped prevent her from becoming the next victim.
78-year-old Delores Dreesman got an unexpected phone call the other day.
“The guy called me by name and he said, I understood him to say, he was with some insurance company and he was talking about an insurance card. And I questioned him. I said, 'What insurance company are you with?’ 'Oh, no, no. It's with the government and all senior citizens are going to have to have this insurance card,'" Dreesman said.
Dreesman thought maybe it had something to do with the health care reform and wondered if she really needed it.
“We've heard about it regionally and nationally, but this is the first time we've heard about it in Sioux Falls. Yes, you need to purchase a certain kind of insurance. But we all know that's not true," Jessie Schmidt of the Better Business Bureau said.
Fortunately, Dreesman remembered the warnings she'd heard not to give out her personal information.
“And then he asked for the name of my bank and I said, ‘I'm sorry, but I don't give that information out to anyone over the telephone,’ and he hung up on me," Dreesman said.
“The wisest thing she did was just to say no and they hung up on her so that was a clear sign it was fraud or scam," Schmidt said.
And while Dreesman did the right thing, others will fall for this ploy every time.
“They're going to make 400 calls and all they need is one or two people to answer to play it out all the way and they made their quota for the day," Schmidt said.
“If I can prevent someone else from giving out that information, not thinking and just saying it before they think. Because they kind of catch you unaware, especially when they say it's the government. It kind of concerns you," Dreesman said.
Better Business Bureau Senior Line: 877-637-3334.