New Castle Co.Police warn public about scam targeting Medicare recipients

NEW CASTLE COUNTY, Del. (WPVI) -- It can start with a simple phone call. The person on the other end of the line may appear to "talk the talk" but police warn therein lies the danger.

New Castle County Police are now warning residents not to be fooled by criminals calling and offering free genetic testing or cancer screenings

"These guys are very coercive," said Master Corporal Michel Eckerd.

Authorities say the targets of this latest scam in the region have been Medicare recipients. So far, three cases have been reported to the police. Police say the criminals are after personal information and will ask questions looking for your date-of-birth and your Medicare information.

Police say if you feel that you may be a victim of this or any scam, not to be embarrassed or ashamed, but to report it as soon as you can.

"It's limitless to their imagination what stories they'll come up with what scams they'll come up with to try and attack people on their heartstrings, nice people," Eckerd said.

Some area residents say it's scams like these the keep them from answering the phone.

"I do no business over the phone it's just not worth it cause there's no way to know if they're calling you what you're getting into," said resident Mike Cannatelli. "Medicare will never call you on the phone. They send out stuff saying we do not call you on the phone," he added.

Others like Maggie Rife say they haven't been the target of this particular scam, but has received phone calls in the past from Social Security she suspects were aimed at getting her information.

"Yes, more than a couple time, If I hear it on my answering machine I don't even say nothing," she said. Authorities want to remind the public that exams must be ordered by a doctor for them to be covered by Medicare.
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