Newsroom > DHHS News Release


April 16, 2008

Marla Augustine, Communications & Legislative Services, (402) 471-4047, or


Nebraskans Warned to be on Alert for Medicare Scams


Note: Sound bites on this topic from Patty Pierson are available at:

Lincoln - Nebraskans continue to report receiving phone calls from persons identifying themselves as Medicare representatives and asking the beneficiaries to provide or "verify" personal information, including the beneficiaries’ bank account numbers. According to the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), residents from Seward County and Box Butte County reported receiving such calls and wisely refused to provide personal financial information.

Some Nebraskans who have received these types of calls report that the caller can become insistent or intimidating. However, it’s important to keep in mind that receiving an unsolicited call demanding a personal bank account number indicates it’s a scam.

"Trust your instincts," advises Patty Pierson, State Long-Term Care Ombudsman with DHHS. "If something doesn’t feel or sound right, don’t buy it." Pierson adds that if Nebraskans receive a questionable call, especially from someone saying they represent Medicare, they should refuse to provide any personal or financial information.

Instead, Pierson recommends asking for the caller’s name and number, and then checking it out by contacting Medicare at 1-800-MEDICARE, the Nebraska Senior Health Insurance Information Program at 1-800-234-7119, or the Nebraska SMP Project at 1-800-942-7830 for more information.

Funded by an SMP grant from the U.S. Administration on Aging, the Nebraska SMP Project educates consumers on how to protect themselves from possible health care fraud. For more information, visit