Florida Blue warns seniors about a pain management scam targeting its customers

Look out for calls about new pain-relieving medicine, especially if you are a customer of the state’s largest health insurer, Florida Blue, warns an advisory that calls the effort “shameful” and a “scam.”

Such calls can deliver a dose of financial hurt including identity theft or bogus charges, according to the state’s top financial officer.

Be wary of telemarketing calls about an “experimental pain relief cream” to replace current pain medication, Florida Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis said in a statement.

“Florida residents are most likely to report being the target of fraud and identity theft,” Patronis said. “Anyone that provides prescription medication to you without a medical doctor directly involved in your personal care is committing fraud.”

Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies nationally have reported such calls targeting members, his office said.

Officials representing Jacksonville-based Florida Blue did not immediately have information on complaints in the state or Palm Beach County.

The best solution is to hang up, Patronis’s office said. If it’s a robocall, or recorded message, do not press any buttons for more information.

Remember that scammers can “spoof” telephone numbers to make it appear they are calling from a company or government agency, or a local number, officials said.

Among other advice: do not give out personal information such as a Social Security number or Medicare number to anyone who calls you first, without your invitation.

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