Archive for Friday, June 8, 2007

ID thieves target Medicare drugs

June 8, 2007


— Identity thieves are taking advantage of efforts to help some of Greensburg's older residents get prescriptions after they lost most of their identification papers in the May 4 tornado.

The tornado destroyed most of Greensburg, including its pharmacy, and swept away many residents' Medicare Part D cards, as well as important identifying papers such as birth certificates and driver's licenses.

To help residents get necessary medications, some pharmacists in the area agreed to accept account and personal identification numbers without seeing the actual Medicare cards.

Word of that kind gesture reached the wrong people, Kansas Attorney General Paul Morrison said.

Someone claiming ties to Medicare Part D is calling older people from the Greensburg area and asking them to confirm their account numbers to continue receiving drug coverage.

The Medicare Part D program is not making calls to verify accounts, according to the Kansas Department on Aging.

"Seniors in the Greensburg areas should not share personal information over the phone without first verifying the caller's identity," Morrison said in a statement.

Ashley Anstaett, a spokeswoman for Morrison's office, said the problem is exacerbated because Greensburg residents are using new pharmacies where they generally aren't recognized. That makes it easy for scam artists to walk in and use someone else's account number and personal identification number.

They get often-expensive drugs and the person whose identity was stolen is charged for the prescriptions.

People who think they have encountered an impostor should contact Senior Health Insurance Counseling for Kansas at (800) 860-5260, while people who think they have had their identification information stolen should contact the attorney general's consumer protection division at (800) 432-2310.


Use the comment form below to begin a discussion about this content.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.