It seems as if there's always someone around the corner looking to take your money or steal your personal information via unscrupulous means.

This time, the Better Business Bureau is urging senior citizens to be aware of the warning signs of medical identity theft scams. Medicare’s Open Enrollment period begins October 15 and runs through December 7, and officials say it's a prime time for scammers to make telemarketing calls that trick seniors into revealing personal information or agreeing to be billed for medical devices that don’t exist.

Stuart Miles, ThinkStock

According to the BBB, here's how it works:

You receive a prerecorded call saying that you have been selected to receive free medical supplies. Common offers include a personal emergency alarm system, medications or supplies for a specific health condition, such as diabetes. The caller will ask for personal and/or insurance information, and the “free” products never arrive.


In other variations of these scams, the recorded call claims that you can get an alarm system or medical supplies worth several hundred dollars free or for a low monthly charge. Another version involves a caller claiming that a "doctor-ordered" medicine or medical device is already in the mail and the call is confirming the shipment.

The Better Business Bureau also offers some additional signs that a caller is trying to scam you:

  • Tries to create a sense of panic.
  • Claims you have been specifically identified for an offer but doesn't know your name or anything about you.
  • Promises something for free, that really isn't.
  • Implies an endorsement from a well-known organization.
  • The business doesn't have a legitimate mailing address and website.

For more tips, visit the Better Business Bureau's website, or check them out on Facebook and Twitter.