Recent Medicare Scams Target Seniors Through Bogus Phone CallsFebruary 21st, 2013 | Posted by in Medicare News
Since January, authorities have seen a national increase in fraudulent phone calls targeting senior citizens with Medicare scams. These calls attempt to trick seniors into providing their personal information – Medicare and Social Security number or checking account information – by insisting they have to renew their Medicare card in order to continue receiving benefits.
These callers may be able to confirm some of their target’s basic information, like name and address, as a means of tricking them into believing the call is legitimate. They will then try and obtain the senior’s checking account number, telling them that Medicare will issue funds directly into their bank account. In another scenario, the caller will request sensitive information from the senior (like a Social Security number) so that a new Medicare card may be successfully issued. There have been a few reported instances of a caller requesting to come to the senior’s home in order to obtain this information personally. The goal of these scams is to steal the Medicare beneficiary’s identity, or gain access to their bank account.
In many of these reported incidents, the individuals are said to speak in heavy, foreign accents with a broken, English dialect.
It is important to understand that Medicare already has your personal information and will never request it when calling you. In addition, Medicare participants receive a card when joining the program but it does not need to be renewed. In order to avoid falling for these scams, do not give out any information unless you have initiated the phone call yourself. When in doubt, hang up and call the number listed for the organization in the phone book so you know exactly who it is you’re contacting.
To report these types of incidents, contact the Office of the Inspector General at 1-800-447-8477. You may also reference our previous post for tips on how to Recognize and Prevent Medicare Fraud.
Should you have any questions or concerns about your Medicare card, you may always contact the customer service number on the back of the card.
What do you think can be done to further educate seniors about the dangers of Medicare fraud?
Medicare has not reviewed or endorsed this information.