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Bill Capo / Eyewitness News
Email: bcapo@wwltv.com | Twitter: @billcapo

NEW ORLEANS -- When a New Orleans woman received a phone call supposedly from San Francisco, she wondered who it could be.

'I'm just very angry at scams in general, but scams that target senior citizens even more so,' said 'Cherie,' who didn't want to be identified.

It wasn't long before Cherie got suspicious after her phone rang. The offer just seemed too good right from the start.

'It was an automated message that promised $3,000 in food certificates to seniors 60 years of age and over, and also promised a free medical alert system,' Cherie said, recalling the message.

'A lot of people are getting these calls,' said Cynthia Albert of the Better Business Bureau.

$3,000 in groceries is a huge enticement, but the Better Business Bureau warns everyone to be as suspicious as Cherie.

'It's just another one of these scams that get you to answer questions and to try to get Medicare information,' Albert said. 'You know your Medicare number is your Social Security number.'

'All they wanted me to do was press One, it seemed like a very simple thing to do,' Cherie said she was told during the call.

Now it's a good thing Cherie didn't press one, or any number on her phone, because the Better Business Bureau warns that's when the scammers really have the chance to steal your identity.

'If you answer it, and they ask you to press a button, no way, because then they're going to get you, and they're going to keep asking questions, and believe me, these con artists are good,' said Albert.

'I'm very happy that I didn't press one,' responded Cherie.

'Hang up,' concluded Albert. 'That's the best advice the Better Business Bureau can give.'

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