Medicaid tells woman’s family she’s dead

Woman gets letter saying she's dead

BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - Some argue that the dead walk among the living, but that’s now true in the case of the Haynes family.

“It is, it’s just a little spooky," says Haynes.

A letter arrived from HMS Estate recovery Unit, a contractor for the Alabama Medicaid Agency. It’s addressed the to the family of Pamela Haynes, expressing their condolences for their recent loss, saying Haynes died January 25 of this year.

“It’s a very strange feeling to open it and read your name on there and it has your date of death listed," says Haynes.

Haynes is very much alive. And naturally, a little skeptical that this might be a scam

“I knew to look for misspelled words, I knew to look for grammatical errors,” she said.

But the letter seems legitimate, even including a thorough questionnaire and a pre-postaged return envelope. Then more strange things happened.

“We’ve had several attacks on our credit,” she said.

Credit cards started showing up at the house that they did not apply for. They saw charges on their bank statements for background checks and charges made overseas. They immediately put a freeze on their credit.

But there are others things you need to do if you find yourself in this situation.

“You need to be sure that you call the social security administration to report that you really are alive and well. And then you also want to check with the credit reporting agencies to see if your credit report shows you as deceased,” says David Smitherman with The Better Business Bureau of Alabama.

This has left Haynes feeling a little on edge now.

“Let me look closely at that date! Is there going to be anything significant about that date?,” she said.

Another reminder to check your credit report every so often just to make sure nothing is on there that shouldn’t be.

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