Scams targeting seniors have become so widespread that you can consider them the crime of the 21st century because scoundrels know older people have money sitting in their accounts. I'm about to share with you a local flim-flam rip-off by a stranger, but it's not always strangers who perpetrate these crimes. In fact, over 90 percent of all reported fraudulent schemes are committed by an older person's own family members.

A listener to my morning show, who I'll identify simply as an excellent visiting nurse, contacted me yesterday and asked if I could warn the community about a con trick that's happening locally. She said she has a few patients who live in an apartment complex in the downtown New Bedford area.

A man calling himself "Mr. Gomes" claims to be a representative of Medicare by providing an official enough looking phony ID badge. He's been knocking on many doors inside this apartment complex and is gaining entrance because he wins over their trust. In other words, he's duping them into believing that he's actually a Medicare representative, but in reality, he is nothing but a punk and a cheat. Gomes has asked the seniors for and has received information, including their personal Medicare card, that could include their Social Security number.

The visiting nurse has two clients who were swindled and gave this guy vital information that he can use for other accounts. The NBPD is investigating and the apartment complex management is doing everything possible to assist.

It's important to let everyone know that Medicare never comes to do a home check. This visiting nurse has gone to other city apartment complexes to help warn other residents. She's an everyday hero and I applaud her for doing that. Could you share this story with your friends in the hopes that "Mr. Gomes" will be caught?

Phil Paleologos is the host of The Phil Paleologos Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. Contact him at and follow him on Twitter @PhilPaleologos. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.

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