Health Insurance phone scam targets Wichitans

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WICHITA, Kan. - Michael Walker is a former police officer and truck driver. He says he's naturally cautious.

That's why he wasn't fooled when he started getting some suspicious phone calls.

"They call, saying they're from my insurance company's verification department," Walker says. "They start asking questions about who my insurance company is. I in turn start asking, 'you called from my insurance company. You tell me who you are.' "

Walker says the caller asked questions about his doctors and even questions about his medical procedures. But when Walker fired back with his own questions, the caller didn't have any answers.

But that hasn't stopped them trying. they still call walker several times a day.

"Every one of them hung up on me when I got to the point where they figured they weren't going to get any information out of me," says Walker.

Denise Groene, State Director of the Kansas Better Business Bureau says most insurance companies will contact you through the U.S. Mail. If you give out your information unsolicited over the phone, you're opening yourself up to identity theft.

"Anytime you get a call from an unsolicited caller and they're requesting personal or sensitive information, you should be extremely cautious of giving any information," Groene says. "What the BBB suggests you do is to hang up the phone."

Michael Walker wasn't fooled by the scammers, but he knows, others may be. And he wants to make sure, no one gets taken in.

"Just be attentive to what they're asking," says Walker. "Ask for a name and phone number. Tell 'em you'd like to call them back if you're busy. If they won't give you a phone number, then you know you have a call that's not legit."

The BBB says the safest thing is to call up your health insurance provider yourself and verify whether they need to speak with you. When in doubt, you can call the better business bureau for more information.

And, once again, never give out your personal information unsolicited.


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