The Sweetwater County Sheriff's Department is warning people about a phone scam that targets seniors on Medicare.

Spokesman Dick Blust says the callers often have heavy accents and typically address the intended victim by name. They claim to be representatives of doctors or medical supply companies, questioning the victim about their medical issues and especially what kind of pain they may be suffering from.

Once they get that information they claim to have various products or devices which can help the victim, asking for the person's Medicare number.

The con artists then turn around and bill Medicare for the supposed product. In some cases the seniors don't receive anything at all, other times they get shoddy and virtually worthless items.

Blust says real health care providers don't call up people they don't know fishing for clients and won't demand Medicare numbers over the phone.

He also says the scam shows that just because someone calls you up and knows your name doesn't mean they are legitimate.

Blust says a lot of information about people can be found online these days, and con artists who want to sound believable will use the internet to get background information on potential victims.

More information on Medicare scams is available at the agency's website.