- Last Updated on 07:47 AM 07/24/13
- BY The Gazette-Virginian
Halifax County Sheriff Fred S. Clark is warning area residents to beware of scams and to plan and prepare for a safe summer.
One scam making its rounds involves Medicare recipients who are being targeted for personal information.
In some incidences, Medicare recipients are receiving telephone calls from foreign individuals who falsely claim Medicare has to send out new cards, and information confirmation is needed.
They may ask the name of the bank that social security deposits are made, and then try to verify claim numbers on the Medicare card, according to the sheriff.
The scammer also may try to get account numbers on the checking account that the social security check is deposited to, Clark added.
These scammers particularly target seniors and will usually mention a new Medicare card, a new prescription card or plan or a need for bank information to direct deposit a check. Clark warns to not fall for it.
“If you are enrolled in Medicare, you won’t receive phone calls. They will issue a new card that will come to you in the mail, not by an email,” the sheriff said.
“There is no reason for you to provide any personal information over the phone,” he added.
However, because many people on Medicare rely on their benefits, the scammer’s threat to stop benefits may alarm them and lead them to give out information that would result in them becoming victims of identity theft.
He urged county residents to be aware that if they should get a call “out of the blue,” they should not give out any personal information.
Summer safety urged
Also this summer, Clark offered other tips for staying safe.
w Be aware of your children’s whereabouts. If your children are staying with friends, make sure you know their parents and that your children will be in a safe environment
• Use discretion when posting trips, plans and activities on social media sites such as Facebook. Although social media is a great way to connect and keep in touch with friends and family, it is also a way for criminals to find out when people are going on vacation, attending activities and when people are home alone. Be mindful of what you post. Do not allow your posts to make you, your family and your property a target.
• Remember to keep your property safe and secure. Simple tasks such as securing doors and windows, locking parked cars and posting Community Watch signs around your property can be very helpful in deterring crime.
Clark reminds residents that community involvement in crime prevention efforts is a strong example of the Halifax County Sheriff’s Office motto, “Working Together to Build A Safer Community.”