Identity thieves pose as government workers

WASHINGTON – The latest telephone scam targets seniors on Medicare.

Here’s how the scenario plays out: Someone claiming to be with the government calls and says he needs a Social Security number or a bank account number so a new Medicare card can be issued. The information is then used by identity thieves.

Maryland Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler warns people not to give out their personal information over the phone.

“If someone claiming to be from the government calls and asks for your personal information, just hang up,” said Gansler, in a news release. “Many people unfortunately don’t realize until the damage is done how harmful it can be to hand over your personal information to someone you don’t know.”

Callers with Caller ID should take down the number and contact the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division at 410-528-8662 or 1-888-743-0023. Victims of identity theft should call the Attorney General’s Identity Theft Unit at 410- 576-6491.

Complaints also can be filed online.

WTOP’s Kate Ryan contributed to this report. Follow Kate and WTOP on Twitter.

(Copyright 2012 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)

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