Medicare beneficiaries are targets for scammers and identity thieves all year long.
At TSS, we care for your safety, and we want to share with you some of the most common Medicare scams so you can be aware of them in order to protect yourself and your loved ones.
Many scams take place over the phone, however, there are some that will come through email, U.S. mail, and even in the form of door to door visits.
Scammers will use any tactic they can to attempt to steal your identity. Here are the most common scams:
- Attempts to “verify your identity”: Usually done through a phone call, the caller will tell you that you must provide information in order to receive a new Medicare card, or update your account with your insurance company. They may even go as far as to tell you that there will be a charge for the service they are providing. This is not true.
Scams surrounding new Medicare cards have been on the rise since the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced that in an effort to protect Social Security numbers new cards will be issued to beneficiaries beginning in April 2018. These cards will have a new Medicare number that is unique to you, and will no longer use SS numbers as your Medicare ID on the card. Your new card will come to you automatically, you do not need to do anything to get your new card. You do not need to update your information, pay a fee, or take other actions to receive your card. Also, and this is very important: Once you receive your new card in the mail, make sure to destroy the old one.
- Claims that you are “entitled to a refund”: Another way scammers use is calling and saying that there have been changes to your Medicare coverage you are owed a refund. They will typically ask for your Medicare number as well as your bank information to direct deposit the funds. Do not offer them any of this information. Doing so would give the scammer the ability to empty your bank account. If you are entitled to any sort of refund, it will be mailed to you. Nobody should be calling to ask you for your bank account information.
- Offers of free medical supplies: In this scam, a caller will pretend to offer you free medicals supplies or a checkup at no cost to you because it is covered by Medicare. They will then ask you to give them your Social Security number to “verify” coverage, and for a bank account or credit card number to cover shipping fees. Again, please do not share this information with someone you don’t know over the phone.
At TSS we care about you, so please be cautious when you receive these types of phone calls. If you feel like you have been a victim of a scam, call immediately the FTC (Federal Trade Commission) at (877) 382-4357 to report it.
You can also download the HIYA app - a Caller ID, Call Blocker and Protection tool to prevent you from getting scammed!
Download Hiya - Caller ID and Block and enjoy it on iOS or Android mobile device.
If you have a question about Medicare it is important to ask them from someone you can trust. We want to be your trusted Medicare specialist. Give us a chance to help you. We have an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau, and we have also been awarded the Pinnacle Award, the highest award granted to businesses who excel in customer service. This strengthens our credibility and makes us trustworthy for better help you.