DEAR HARRY: I am 84 years old, and I live in a retirement community. I think I still have my wits about me, but I guess I'm just a very suspicious person. Last week, I received a call from someone who said he represented Medicare doing a random survey of what people think of various facets of the system. He proceeded to ask me some innocuous questions about recent care and co-payments. Then he said he had to verify that I'm really who I said I am. That turned my lights on. He asked my Medicare number, "you know its your SS number usually followed by a letter A." I hung up immediately and got no callback. I'm sure this was a scam of some sort, and I notified my fellow residents through our monthly bulletin. Several other residents got the same call, and at least one responded fully. Our administrator is helping her to watch over her money. Harry, please tell your readers to be very careful about callers who identify themselves as government employees. My elderly sisters and brothers are particularly vulnerable.
WHAT HARRY SAYS: You bet they are! There are many reasons for this, not the least of which is the fear of running out of money before they run out of days, as well as respect for authority. In our area, I have recently come across fake sheriffs, fake court officers, fake prizes, fake relatives and deceitful salesmen. Please, keep your personal info close to your vest. If it sounds too good to be true, it is too good to be true. No ifs or maybes.
Email Harry Gross at harrygrossDN@gmail.com, or