Hang up, shut it down or toss it out. That's the advice for consumers amid a new wave of financial scams circulating by phone, mail and online. Some are seasonal, tied to what's in the news, even Obamacare. Others are perennials that seem to sprout up regularly.
Regardless of how they arrive, they're highly bothersome, if not potentially financially disastrous. Here are some that have been making the rounds lately:
'Medicare' calling: Four days in a row last month, the same early-morning calls woke up Corin Gomes' 85-year-old mother. Each time, the caller asked her to "verify" personal information, including her name, age, address and bank account number, in order to receive a free medical I.D. card for seniors. The caller, claiming to be from Washington, D.C., said the new government-issued card would cover any medical expenses not covered by Medicare.
Recovering from a stroke, the Elk Grove, Calif., resident wasn't sure how to respond. That's when Gomes took charge of the 6 a.m. calls, which she quickly determined were coming from a cellphone in Florida, not the nation's capital. She also discovered the company, GMY, had been flagged by the Better Business Bureau in multiple states.
On the company's fourth call, Gomes picked up the phone. "I told them to never call back again. They were arguing with me: 'But we're trying to protect her against unscrupulous people!'"
It's a common scenario.
"We probably get at least a call a day about M...