FLORENCE — Mental alarms began sounding as soon as the caller asked Glenda Montgomery to supply her banking information.
“When I told him I don’t give out that information and he hung up on me, I knew he was trying to pull off a scam,” said Montgomery.
Montgomery said she got a telephone call earlier this week from someone claiming he worked for Medicare and they were preparing to send out her Medicare cards.
“He spoke with a foreign accent and he knew my name and my address,” Montgomery said. “He told me he would be mailing out new Medicare cards and he needed some information.
“He wanted to know what bank we used. I said ‘oh no, we don’t give out that kind of information,’ and he hung up.”
Montgomery said she immediately called the Social Security Administration office and found out they were not sending out new Medicare cards.
Her next call was to police.
“She’s smart; you never give out personal information like bank accounts to anyone over the telephone,” Sheffield police detective Capt. Scott Wallace said of the scam.
Wallace said his office often gets calls about scams, but that hasn’t happened lately.
“People try these scams all the time and sometimes they are successful in getting the information they need to wipe out someone’s bank account,” Wallace said.
Michelle Mason, president and chief executive officer of the Better Business Bureau of North Alabama, said her office has received information about an increase in Medicare-related scams lately.
“This type of scam goes on almost constantly,” Mason said. “Sometimes the callers claim to be from the Social Security administrator and other times they are with Medicare. It seems that lately we have been getting reports of higher number of these calls.”
She said the people are trying get into people’s checking accounts.
“Once they get into the accounts, they can wipe it out before the victim knows anything about it,” Mason said.
Montgomery said she called her credit union and asked them to start monitoring her account.
Tom Smith can be reached at 256-740-5757 or tom.smith@TimesDaily.com.