Highmark warns of phone scam

Highmark is warning customers about a phone scam in Central Pennsylvania. The caller claims to be a Highmark employee and asks for personal health information.

The company first got wind of the scam on Friday. It’s notifying customers that the calls are not from Highmark or any of its diversified businesses. The call comes from the number 289-800-0303.

It’s just another thing that worries Pamela Barbush every time her mother’s phone rings in Lemoyne.

“It’s hard for particularly elderly people to decipher what’s real and what’s not,” she said.

Barbush called her mother Marge immediately after learning of the scam since her mother is a customer on Highmark’s Medicare plan.

“It’s frustrating,” Marge Barbush said. “It’s scary.”

The number is disconnected if you try to call back.

Brian Floyd at Gunn Mowery, an insurance agency in Lemoyne, is alerting his clients who use Highmark as their primary insurance provider.

“They should not be releasing any type of information; social security number, any type of records, anything via phone,” Floyd said. “Anytime there is going to be anything of great importance, that’s going to come in writing.”

Highmark does not know how the scammers got their customer numbers or if it’s just random.

Floyd says he’s worried about copycats.

“When it’s successful with one vendor, it may be picked up by another vendor,” he said. “You’re always nervous these things are going to occur or reoccur.”

But Marge Barbush says she won’t be fooled.

“Who knows what’s next?” she said.

“There will be a next one. It’s just society today,” Pamela Barbush said. “There will be another scam phone call, and you just have to be vigilant, educating our older citizens that they need to be aware.”

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