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Open enrollment brings greater risk of phone scams looking for Medicare info

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NACHES, Wash. - Phone call scammers are nothing new, but this time they are coming for your medical info.

Patty Breshears of Naches said she has received three calls regarding her Medicare and she was suspicious after they all came in from different area codes.

"I said 'Before I answer any of your questions, let me ask you one: By what authority are you making these calls for Medicare?' And the line just went dead,” she said.

Brisa Guajardo is the manager of Business Development with Community Health Plan of Washington said the amount of these scam calls tend to spike during open enrollment.

She said she always tries to work with seniors because she thinks they are the most vulnerable to these scams.

"I hear people who say social security called me and they want my information,” Guajardo said. “While social security has your information, they are not going to call to get your information."

Guajardo said no matter who the person says they work for, everyone should protect their information over the phone.

Asking the person to send them a written statement in the mail is an option and she said it's better to be safe than sorry.

"This is a number on their Medicare card today that they should not be giving out to anybody. This number is entire for them," she said.

Breshears is only one example of these phone scams but wants people to go with their gut feeling if anything seems strange about the call.

"Don't trust someone like this over the phone because there is so many scammers out there and your Medicare number, if he gets it, you're going to be in trouble," Breshears said.

Guajardo also said if the calls keep coming, you can research the group the person is with and get in contact with that organization to see if they are real.

If that's not enough, you can contact your local police department because chances are you aren't the only one.

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