Warnings About Medicaid and Boss Scams in Southern Tier
Scammers are getting more and more crafty in their efforts to part honest people from their money as evidenced by a couple scams that are being reported in the region.
Some residents have said they have gotten a call from someone claiming to be from Medicare who had actually been able to obtain part of the their address and a portion of their Medicare number, claiming they were sending a new card. The target got suspicious when the scammer said they were sending a "free" product like a back or knee brace. The crook hung up when asked for a call-back number.
New York Attorney General Letitia James says there’s another scam that plays on the fact that a number of people are still working from home or have returned to remote work that has popped up which she’s calling “the Boss Scam.”
What happens is, an employee receives a text or email from someone pretending to be their employer who claims there is some sort of urgent issue.
The text may “spoof” an employer’s real name, phone number or email making it look real. The fake ‘boss’ then instructs the employee buy a certain number of Target, Amazon or other gift cards in specific amounts, promising to pay the employee back quickly. The hapless employee may be asked to scratch off the back of the gift card to reveal the Personal Identification Number (PIN) or claim code, making the gift card the equivalent of cash. The employee is then told to send photos of the gift card to the number the scammer provides.
James warns people: don’t reply to the text or email and check directly with your usual business number contacts. Taking long pauses in the coversation or asking for a callback number often scares off the scammer. You know your employer. Most legitimate companies won’t handle business through gift card purchases.
File a complaint by submitting a Consumer Frauds and Protection Bureau online complaint form or call 800-771-7755.
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