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*** Consumer Advisory *** Medicare Scam That Target Seniors

(Phoenix, Ariz. - August 16, 2005)  Attorney General Terry Goddard today warned Arizona consumers to be careful of telemarketers and door-to-door salespeople contacting seniors attempting to sell a fake Medicare Prescription Drug Benefit Card that becomes effective January 1, 2006.

At least 13 states have reported this new scam where seniors are contacted either by telephone or in person by someone offering to sell a benefit card.  The sales pitch includes telling the seniors that these cards will be mandatory and that they need a bank account number to cover the costs for the card.

This is a scam.  Never give out a bank account, credit card account, Social Securitynumber or any other personal information when contacted by telephone or by a door-todoor salesperson claiming to sell any Medicare-related product.

The Medicare-Part D Prescription Drug Benefit will begin in January 2006. The program will be open to current and new Medicare enrollees.  Enrollment will NOT be mandatory.  The federal Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) is the government agency responsible for the Medicare Part D Program and will be distributing a “Medicare & You 2006” handbook by mail this fall.  This booklet will outline the benefit plans available in Arizona.

Please visit on line at www.medicare.gov for more information on Medicare’s new coverage for prescription drugs.  If you do not have access to the internet, please call1.800.633.4227 toll free.