Welcome to the Edge

We are a local, subscriber-supported news organization.
Feel free to learn more about us, browse our free content,
or become a subscriber for as low as $1.75 a week.

Full story

Health and education scams

Ken Kleinlein

Ken Klein­lein

By Ken Kleinlein

Crime Scene

ENGLEWOOD, Fla. – Here are some scams cur­rently mak­ing the rounds.

TRICARE mil­i­tary health care phone scam

TRICARE says it will never call ben­e­fi­cia­ries and ask for per­sonal infor­ma­tion. If you receive this type of call it is a fraud. Ben­e­fi­cia­ries should pro­tect their per­sonal and health infor­ma­tion from those look­ing to use it for fraud­u­lent rea­sons. Never give out per­sonal sen­si­tive infor­ma­tion to any­one over the phone.

In some more sophis­ti­cated tele­phone scams, the caller may have spe­cific infor­ma­tion that makes the call seem offi­cial, such as your address, phone num­ber, or doctor’s name. The caller hopes this will con­vince you he or she is a legit­i­mate ven­dor and that you will give your per­sonal information.

If you receive a call like this, do not give any of your per­sonal iden­ti­fi­able infor­ma­tion such as birth date, social secu­rity num­ber or bank­ing information.

TRICARE never asks ben­e­fi­cia­ries for this infor­ma­tion even when call­ing for an offi­cial Depart­ment of Defense sur­vey. The Defense Health Agency (DHA) Pro­gram Integrity Office closely mon­i­tors pos­si­ble fraud against beneficiaries.

If you receive a call of this nature, con­tact the DHA Pro­gram Integrity Office. For more infor­ma­tion, go to the Report Fraud or Abuse page on the TRICARE website.

Cyber secu­rity breach of Anthem/Blue Cross Blue Shield con

Mem­bers’ con­fi­den­tial and per­sonal infor­ma­tion may have been com­pro­mised as a result of a cyber attack on Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield. As a result, Anthem con­tracted with a com­pany called “All Clear ID” to pro­vide identify-theft pro­tec­tion for those who chose to sign up.

Mem­bers have received tele­phone calls from indi­vid­u­als claim­ing to be from “All Clear ID” request­ing social secu­rity num­bers and other per­sonal infor­ma­tion. Do not divulge any such infor­ma­tion over the tele­phone to any caller iden­ti­fy­ing his/herself as being from “All Clear ID.” The com­pany will never call mem­bers on the tele­phone request­ing this information.

Inves­ti­gat­ing Offi­cers from the NYPD say there are indi­ca­tions that a group known as Anony­mous may be respon­si­ble for the hack­ing. In the past they have hacked into law enforce­ment, mil­i­tary, and other sites. The Florida Attor­ney Gen­eral also has pro­vided infor­ma­tion rel­a­tive to this scam.

The stu­dent loan scam

Be wary of emails that entice stu­dent loan hold­ers by promis­ing to erase their debt.

You receive an email or spot a post on social media that claims a com­pany can erase your stu­dent loan debt. They claim that their ser­vice is made pos­si­ble by a new gov­ern­ment pro­gram or policy.

The com­pany asks for an upfront fee to nego­ti­ate with your stu­dent loan lender on your behalf. They claim they’ve helped numer­ous other clients.

Stu­dent loans can only be for­given under spe­cific cir­cum­stances, and it’s not fast or easy. These crooks will take your money and disappear.

In another ver­sion of the scam, con artists claim that they can save you money by con­sol­i­dat­ing your loans. Some charge a fee and then use gov­ern­men­tal ser­vices that are free to every­one. Oth­ers may actu­ally move your loans to a pri­vate lender with a high inter­est rate.

If you are hav­ing trou­ble pay­ing your stu­dent loans, con­tact your lender directly and get infor­ma­tion on pro­grams offered by the fed­eral government.

Never give a third party power of attor­ney. Don’t sign any­thing giv­ing a com­pany the power to nego­ti­ate on your behalf. A scam com­pany will use this to take con­trol of your loan.

Any com­pany that claims it can erase your stu­dent loan debt in min­utes is lying. Don’t bother respond­ing to the ad or email. Learn more about stu­dent loans at Studentaid.ed.gov for U.S. res­i­dents and Canlearn.ca for Cana­di­ans. The Bet­ter Busi­ness Bureau is also aware of this con.

Take care, be care­ful, and I’ll see you at the next Crime Scene

God bless and pro­tect our mil­i­tary, police offi­cers and fire fight­ers (espe­cially in Baltimore).

Ken Klein­lein is a for­mer detec­tive with the NYPD Spe­cial Frauds Squad, coor­di­nat­ing with local, state and fed­eral law enforce­ment, along with accred­ited secu­rity firms on mat­ters of crime pre­ven­tion and pub­lic information.

You can comment on this story below.

If you want to link to this post from your site, use this trackback link.

Leave a reply:

You must be logged in to post a comment.