Yancey County -- March 4, 2024: Sheriff Shane Hilliard of the Yancey County Sheriff’s Office issues a crucial alert to all Yancey County residents

and individuals nationwide regarding a concerning surge in Medicare/Medicaid scam calls. Numerous reports have been received, with calls appearing to originate from local numbers, including the Yancey County Health Department's number.

Sheriff Shane Hilliard highlights the importance of safeguarding your personal information, urging citizens never to disclose their Medicare/Medicaid number or Social Security number to anyone you do not know and trust. This sensitive information should only be shared with your own doctor’s office or medical facilities that you have personally contacted or can contact with a local number. Furthermore, citizens are cautioned against accepting offers of money or gifts in exchange for medical services. Do not allow access to medical records and only take service recommendations from your healthcare provider.

The Yancey County Sheriff’s Office urges individuals to be aware and use the following precautions:

Never give out personal information, including Medicare/Medicaid number and Social Security number, to unexpected callers.
Do not accept offers of money or gifts for free medical care.
Don’t allow anyone except your healthcare provider or the facilities you are using to access your medical records or to recommend services.
Don’t join a Medicare health or drug plan over the phone unless you have called or you are expecting a call from them.
Use extreme caution when providing financial information over the phone. You have the right to call back. Call a number you recognize as belonging to the facility and request to speak with someone from the billing department.
Make sure you know who you are talking with. If you have any doubt about who you are speaking with, just hang up and call the office or the facility contact number, that you already have, never call the number they give you to call and verify.
Follow the rule, “If it seems too good to be true, it probably is.”

“Everyone should be well aware of the scams that are going around, especially when they are using local health care facilities phone numbers,” said Sheriff Shane Hilliard. “Scammers are relentless! Stay informed, use caution, and protect yourself against fraudulent schemes and the pursuit to get your hard-earned money.”


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