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Friday, January 5, 2024

PIERRE, S.D. - Telephone scams targeting Medicare recipients are now being reported in South Dakota, according to Attorney General Marty Jackley.

The Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division this week have received numerous reports from citizens who have received scam calls threatening their Medicare benefits. The scammer tells the caller that their Medicare benefits are due to expire and then asks the recipient for their current Medicare number so it can be tied to a new number. If the recipient refuses to provide the information, the scammer threatens to stop the person’s Medicare benefits.

"These scammers are bullying the Medicare recipients and threatening to take away their wellearned benefits," said Attorney General Jackley. "They are using fear to force the person to give up their valued personal information."

Attorney General Jackley said Medicare will never call recipients uninvited and ask for personal or private information. A government agency will usually send a written statement in the mail before calling a person.

"Calls requesting health insurance should not be trusted," said Attorney General Jackley. "Never give out personal or financial information and use caution if a caller pressures you for such information."

If you have given your Medicare number out through this type of scam you should contact Medicare and request a new card at 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227). If you should receive packages in the future that contain knee, wrist, or back braces that you did not order, contact the South Dakota Attorney's General’s Consumer Protection Division at 1-800-300-1986 or file a complaint at at consumerhelp@state.sd.us.