Austin couple warns the public about latest phone scammers

Austin Woman Shares Experience on Phone Scammer

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(ABC 6 News) – An Austin couple is sending out a scam warning of their own, after they almost fell victim to a scam.

Barbara Ruzek and her husband got a call from someone claiming “to be working with Medicare.”

Ruzek said “I thought it was about a promotion for another Medicare supplement. I said ‘no, we have Medicare supplement already,’ and I was about ready to hang up. Then, she said ‘no, this is about something different.'”

According to Ruzek, the woman on the phone told Ruzek she was issuing her a new Medicare card.

“She says we’ll get you a new one with the new date on it for 2024. I thought it was kind of strange.”

Then things started to get weird. “She wanted to know the last four digits on the card, and I told her I was not comfortable with that.”

The scammer did not give up that easily, asking for an alternative.

“How about the first four [numbers]?”

At that point, Ruzek had heard enough and she hung up. “I said if you want to call back at noon, my husband will be here and then we can talk about it. Never got a call back.”

Vince Guerra is a computer expert, who hears about scams all the time.

He says Ruzek did the right thing. “It’s a call center over there, so they just have phone numbers. If it doesn’t get through, it just hangs up and they go to the next person.”

If you ever find yourself in a situation where the same number keeps calling you and you cannot block it, Guerra says to stand your ground. “As long as you stay strong, keep ignoring their numbers, they will eventually leave you alone.”

Barbara also wants people to be careful, so they do not become a victim.

“If you have a question, call social security.”

If you feel you are being scammed, you can call the Social Security Fraud & Prevention hotline at 1-800-269-0271.