Cumberland County investigating possible scam targeting seniors

When one woman in Cumberland County received a call at her home trying to help her with Medicare, she became suspicious.

When two people showed up at her home the next day, she said, she knew she was being scammed.

Now investigators are sending out a warning about a man and woman who are claiming to be county employees that are promising "good rates" on Medicare Supplemental Plans and assistance with Medicare options.

Sandy Gurreri of Cumberland County's Office of Aging and Community Services said her office does provide assistance with Medicare. However, "Cumberland County is not coming door to door or making phone calls about medicare insurance." Gurreri added, "even if they don't state Cumberland County, it is unusual for insurance people to call or go door to door."

The victim, who did not want to identify herself publicly, said the man and woman who showed up at her door were well dressed. The man had salt and pepper hair, she said, and "he said, well you know some people do need help and you can take my card and we'd like to talk to you about that." She told him no, and she said he shrugged and left in a nearby sedan with the woman.

"They were specifically targeting Medicare knowing that I was going to be eligible in the next 6 to 7 months," said the victim, who added she wondered if the suspects had access to some sort of information that would outline people's ages.

The victim emailed Gurreri's office to warn them of what had happened. Gurreri then contacted investigators, who have not yet named any suspects in the case.

Gurreri's office assists seniors through a program called APPRISE, the State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP) for all Medicare beneficiaries in Pennsylvania. Her Department of Aging and Community Services also has trained staff and volunteers to answer questions for people who are enrolling in Medicare or already using the programs.

"The APPRISE office is really a great resource to the community," she said. "It's at no cost. We have trained counselors who will help people through Medicare enrolment turning 65, through open enrollment."

But once again, she said their program never calls or visits people at their homes. Open enrollment for Medicare ended earlier this month.

To find out more on how to gain Medicare assistance through Cumberland County, click here or call for an appointment at (717) 240-6110 or 1-888-697-0371 ext. 6110.

Notice: you are using an outdated browser. Microsoft does not recommend using IE as your default browser. Some features on this website, like video and images, might not work properly. For the best experience, please upgrade your browser.