In the scam attempt reported to SMP Hawaii, below, the caller said she represented EZ Doctors. According to their website, EZ Doctors offers medical discount plans. The phone number the caller gave for EZ Doctors was not the phone number shown on their website. Our search on the phone number given by the caller uncovered negative comments from consumers who had been contacted through that number.
When we informed a Federal Trade Commission official about the call, during a webinar about Medical Discount Plans, the official said the fact the caller asked for a credit card number made the contact highly suspicious. The caller used a tactic common to scammers: claiming to be affiliated with a known, trusted organization to convince consumers to give them money or access to their financial accounts.
The rise of Medical Discount Scams and how they target seniors, especially persons with Medicare, led the Federal Trade Commission to take action to halt medical discount scams. In 2013 and 2014, the FTC took legal action against the Independent Association of Businesses (IAB) and AFD Medical Advisors for deceptive marketing schemes. Go to www.ftc.gov for more information.
SMP Hawaii is using our monthly bulletin, LOOKING OUT FOR YOU, to educate Medicare beneficiaries about medical discount scams. It is posted on our website at http://smphawaii.org/medicare-fraud/looking-out-for-you-bulletins/, with the other bulletins we have issued.