Medicare has taken extra steps against making it possible for Medicare scams to be committed against consumers. Con artists are using the system to steal private information and your Medicare number to steal your identity and commit fraud. Medicare rolled out a new initiative in an attempt to combat these scams. The new Medicare cards contain a unique number instead of using your Social Security number. However, con artists have found a way around the new system meaning that scams are on the rise.
New Medicare Scams to Look Out For
In an attempt to override fraud-prevention methods, scammers have used changes to protocol during the introduction period to take advantage of consumers. Be aware of the following tricks:
Callers pretend to be representatives from Medicare and request a processing fee or other immediate payment in order to have your new card sent. They also attempt to gain access to your Social Security number, bank details and other private information. In reality there is no fee for the new cards and they will be sent out automatically between April 2018 and April 2019. You will not receive a call about this.
This con technique preys on older citizens claiming that they need to purchase a temporary card. Because Medicare has been in the news, scammers will look for a way to leverage this and scam people out of money. There are no temporary cards being issued and your current card will be active until December 2019. This does not change anything on your plan either. Citizens will receive their cards in batches, according to state.
Medicare will not be calling any of their customers to confirm details before sending over a new card, however, scammers are using this as an opportunity to gather private information such as your Social Security number, address and bank details. Your card will be mailed to your directly and you will not be required to verify any information in order to initiate that process.
Your New Card Is Lost
Scammers are calling customers to inform them that their new card is lost in the mail or that someone else has tried to use their card. In order to resolve this issue, they need to provide relevant information and make a payment. If you experience this, put the phone down and call Medicare to confirm things.
Send Your Old Card Back
This is in attempt to gain a person’s Social Security number because it is listed on the old Medicare card. Citizens are told that they need to send their old card back for administrative purposes but this is not the case. It is best to shred your old card once you have received your new card.
Other techniques include scammers telling customers they are owed refunds for transactions on their old card and then require banking details in order to complete the payment. It is important to note that new Medicare cards are free, they will take about a year from inception to be sent to account holders and you do not need to verify any information in order to initiate your new card. Medicare will not contact you for any of the above reasons. If you or someone you know receives such a call, we advise that you report it to Medicare right away.
Do not share your Medicare number with anyone who contacts you by phone, email or in person. You will be advised in advance whether this is necessary to do so. Only share this information with your doctor or insurers acting on your behalf. A Medicare representative will only call to ask for personal information if you are already a member of a plan. The agent that assisted you in joining will call you. If you’ve personally called Medicare and they are returning your call, they will have all the relevant details. And finally, get familiar with Medicare, they will assist you with anything you need.