Protect yourself from Medicare scammers
The new Medicare cards are being mailed out to millions of Americans starting this month. You need to protect yourself from Medicare scammers who want to steal your information in order to line their pockets.
Congress has decreed that all the Social Security numbers that used to be on every Medicare card must disappear by April of 2019. They have been replaced by what is called a Medicare Beneficiary Identifier (MBI). This is an eleven-digit string of random numbers and letters. It is unique to you.
Medicare fraudsters hit the jackpot when they lifted your old Medicare cards. They could use your Social Security number to open financial accounts, file tax returns and steal your money and your identity in any number of ways.
They will still try to steal your details to commit Medicare fraud and abuse, so you must be diligent about protecting your new card information.
Download Medicare Fraud and Abuse Guide here: https://medicareonvideo.com/guides-forms/
How scammers will try to deceive you.
You received your new card in the mail. You put it in your wallet. Your feel safer.
If you tossed your old card out in the trash without destroying it, it’s available for anyone who wants to make it their own. Destroy your old card!
You receive a phone call saying you are due a refund on your old Medicare card. All you need to do is to provide your bank information and it will be deposited. Hang up immediately. If you truly are due a refund, Medicare will send you a check.
You get another call saying you owe a processing fee for your new Medicare card. They need your personal financial info. Hang up! The new cards are free. There are no processing fees.
Medicare doesn’t call you – usually
Medicare does not call on the phone and ask you for personal information. The only time you might receive a phone call is from a Medicare customer service representative who is returning your request for help. If you are a member of a Medicare plan, the agent or a representative of the company might call you, but Medicare will not initiate a call to ask you for info.
How to protect yourself from Medicare fraud and abuse
- Don’t show your new Medicare card – or any healthcare card – to anyone who is not a service provider.
- Don’t fall for scam phone calls. Pay attention!
- Mark down every visit you make to a service provider – put it in your calendar.
- Get receipts from every visit and every filled prescription.
- Compare data for services and prescriptions with your monthly statements.
- If you find errors, first call your providers. If they do not correct, call 1-800-MEDICARE to report.
- Do not store your new MBI in your computer or other devices.
If you are a victim
If, despite all your efforts, someone steals your information or you suspect that your doctors or nurses or aides are messing with your billing, report your concerns to Medicare.
The most important thing to protect yourself is awareness. Be aware that there are clever and sophisticated scammers out there ready to make a few bucks – or a lot of bucks – off your information. Don’t let them. Be clever and sophisticated yourself. Protect your identity and protect your Medicare membership benefits.
Take precautions and you will less likely be a victim of Medicare fraud and abuse.