How to Identify Medicare Card Scams
According to Time.com, when open enrollment occurs, that is a time when older Americans are allowed to make changes to their medicare guidelines such as switching their coverage. Scammers in particular take advantage of this by persistently making phone calls offering refunds in an effort to gather personal information, or asking elderly seniors to purchase a replacement card. The Federal Trade Commission recently reported on scammers trying to gather pertinent details of the person such as social security numbers, and other private information. Because of the increase in scams, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid are issuing new Medicare cards.
What will the new Medicare cards consist of?
The new Medicare cards were developed to put a halt to identity theft amongst seniors. Instead of a social security number, the new card, a unique, 11-digit identity number. New cards will be mailed April 2018.
How to spot Medicare Card Scams
The replacement card that Medicare is offering comes at NO cost and you don’t need to do anything to receive a replacement card. In fact, Medicare would never ask for personal information to get you a new card. Stay clear from anyone trying to offer you a replacement card. This is scammers opportunity to ty and gather information such as social security numbers, credit cards, or checking account numbers.
Medicare representatives or agents do not exist. Often times this is the most common way scammers contact seniors. Anyone who is trying to sell Medicare over the phone is a fraud.
Another tactic that scammers use is selling a prescription drug plan as a requirement to keep your Medicare benefits. Medicare is complicated, therefore you might not be aware that Medicare Part-D is voluntary. Scammers prey on that confusion.
Scammers, will occasionally contact you and claim they have a refund for you. However, Medicare would never contact anyone to gather information for a refund, but instead automatically issue a check.
The only times you should be contact by Medicare is if you initiated the contact via email or phone call. Otherwise, Medicare would not contact anyone to ask for personal information.
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