KENTON COUNTY, KY (FOX19) - A mail scam is making the rounds in Kenton County, prompting a warning for area seniors.
Ellen Evermen of Ryland Heights called FOX19 right after she got a yellow envelope in the mail. Inside there’s a questionnaire that looks pretty government official, but police say it’s not. If you fill it out and send it in, it could leave your identity wide open for thieves.
The problem started this morning, when Everman pulled a golden envelope out of her mailbox.
"I saw that it was Pennsylvania Avenue and it didn’t have a company name, no letterhead,” said Everman.
And inside was a questionnaire, with large, bold letters at the top.
“Saying attention Medicare recipients, Kenton County, Kentucky, make sure you’re claiming all your benefits, it sounds really official,” said Everman.
In bold letters throughout the letter, it read: Additional benefits! Postage-paid envelope! No obligation! Do not hesitate!
But then at the bottom, it reads in fine print: “Not affiliated with Medicare or any government agency.”
"They want you to send your signature! Your spouse's name, your age, spouse's age, telephone number and your email address," said Everman.
This is all critical information, without asking for your social security number, which could be a backdoor way to access and steal your personal information.
FOX19 looked up the address on the envelope: 611 Pennsylvania Avenue SE #1400. It was not a government center, rather a neighborhood shopping district with restaurants and nail salons.
“It’s next to Hank’s Oyster Bar,” said Everman.
In her best-selling novel, ”Pink Dice," she writes about an age of innocence, the 1950s, when scams like these were unheard of.
“It’s a bit of a sad state of affairs today, compared to the 50s,” she said.
So FOX19 took the letter to Barbara Carlin next door, who was a teen back then. She’s 80 now and worries about her fellow seniors who grew up with that trusting mindset.
“Yessir!” said Carlin. “I’d be calling up my daughters, saying honey, what going on? I’m sorry I’m an old geezer, that’s what I’d be doing!"
She’d call her kids first, because she’d already been phone scammed month ago and was out nearly $5,000.
FOX19 showed the documents to Kenton County Police Chief Spike Jones, who said the letter appears to be nothing more than an attempt to mine information and lay the ground work for more scam mail in the future. Jones said never give out your personal info and if you ever have a question, call police.