August 18th, 2020
We are all aware there are many scam artists out there, targeting our elderly on a daily basis. When Medicare announced a few years ago a new card that would have a different number, these scammers wasted no time and have been trying to cash-in on this change ever since.
The most common approach scammers attempt is to contact Medicare beneficiaries by phone. They claim to be a “Medicare Representative” and try various scenarios to obtain Medicare, financial/banking, or personal information. One of the possible calls a Medicare beneficiary may receive is regarding a NEW plastic Medicare Card.
Health Marketing Manager
Earlier this month, I received a phone call from an agent in regards to a call he received from one of his Medicare clients. The client called to inform him they received a call from Medicare about issuing out new plastic Medicare cards. The client said the person on the phone had their Medicare number and their date of birth, at which point the client confirmed was accurate. After hearing this account of the event, the agent became alarmed and reached out to me to confirm if I have heard anything about Medicare issuing new plastic cards. I informed him I was not aware of any such issuance, but I would contact Medicare and verify the situation.
I immediately called Medicare (800-633-4227) and was able to speak to a representative. I told her about the call the client received and all the details I had at the time. The representative did state Medicare will never call a beneficiary asking to confirm sensitive, personal information. They also recommended the client review their Medicare statements to make certain they do not encounter any suspicious activity. The Medicare representative recommended that the client give them a call to collect the detailed information the fraudulent call to help in their investigation.
Below Are A Few Tips To Follow
1) If a person calls claiming to be from Medicare and are asking for a social security number, banking information, or other information to get their new card, it’s a scam.
2) If a client receives a call asking for payment to get a new card, it's a scam.
3) If a client receives a call asking them to confirm their information for a new plastic card, it’s a scam.
Educate Your Clients
“Medicare & You: Preventing Medicare Fraud,” a video from the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services, advises them to “hang up the phone if someone calls and asks for their Medicare number.” It also urges them to guard your Medicare number like they would their credit card numbers.
If someone asks them for their information, for money, or threatens to cancel their health benefits if they don’t share their personal details, they should hang up and call 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227) or visit www.medicare.gov/fraud.
As we approach AEP season, our Medicare beneficiaries are going to be targeted by scams. Please help educate your clients.
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