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  • Geebo 8:00 am on November 4, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , new medicare card, ,   

    New Medicare card scam is back 

    By Greg Collier

    Currently, we are in the middle of Medicare’s open enrollment period. This is the time of year when Medicare recipients can either stay with their current coverage or seek out a new plan. As we have previously mentioned, open enrollment is also open season for Medicare scammers. This is the time of year when many scammers use Medicare’s open enrollment as an opportunity to try to steal their victims’ Medicare information. The stolen information can then be used to file fraudulent Medicare claims.

    One of the ways scammers get this information is to pose as Medicare and call people to tell them they’re getting a new Medicare card. The scammers will then ask the victim to ‘verify’ their Medicare number and other information so they can issue a new card. A woman in Tennessee was approached by scammers over the phone and was told she was getting a new Medicare card that had a chip in it like a debit or credit card. The woman even asked if the caller was from Medicare or a third party, and the scammer claimed to be from Medicare. The woman knew this was a scam and gave the caller some phony information before hanging up on them.

    The main thing to keep in mind with Medicare scams is that unless you have an ongoing issue with your Medicare coverage and have spoken to an actual Medicare rep, Medicare will never call you. Any major communications that Medicare has with its recipients is done through the postal mail, that includes when new cards are to be issued. If someone calls you claiming to be from Medicare, hang up, even if the caller ID says they’re calling from Medicare. As we’ve known for some time, any phone number can be spoofed.

     
  • Geebo 8:00 am on September 16, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , genetic testing, , , new medicare card,   

    Scam Round Up: Beware of these Medicare scams 

    By Greg Collier

    There have been a number of stories about Medicare scams in the news this week. Unfortunately, they all deal with victims giving their Medicare numbers to scammers over the phone. Here are the highlights of each scam.

    ***

    The AARP is warning Medicare recipients across the country about a phone scam where the fraudsters are threatening victims with termination of their benefits. The scammers are posing as Medicare and calling seniors across the country, telling the seniors that they need a new Medicare card or their benefits will be terminated. The scammers will then ask the victim for their Medicare number for the supposed new card. Instead, the scammers are selling the Medicare numbers to other scammers, who may use the numbers to file false claims. When Medicare does issue new cards, they do so through the mail and will not call recipients asking for information that Medicare should already have.

    ***

    Patients of a healthcare network in Missouri have reported receiving calls from scammers posing as hospital representatives. This includes spoofing the hospital’s actual phone number. Many of the calls have been trying to get patients to order medical equipment like back and knee braces. The scammers have been asking for patients’ Social Security and Medicare numbers. You should only order medical equipment like this if directed by your physician. To do so any other way could lead to fraudulent claims or ill-fitting and ineffective equipment. No physician or medical professional will ever call you unsolicited to try to sell you any medical equipment.

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    Lastly, we have another scam that’s been targeting Medicare recipients nationwide. In this scam, again, the victims are being cold-called, which is something Medicare will never do. The scammers are claiming to be a patient advocate working with Medicare. They offer free genetic testing to detect cancer or heart disease, but if you don’t act soon, you’ll be ineligible for the free procedure. Again, Medicare does not make offers on medical procedures like it’s double coupon day at your local supermarket. Usually, if a test is ordered through one of these calls, it either never appears or is dubious in quality and efficacy. This could also affect patients in the future if they need one of these tests, but already have one billed to Medicare. These tests are quite expensive, and this scam could lead to patients having a substantial medical bill in the thousands.

    ***

    It really is just good practice to not give your Medicare number out over the phone, especially to someone who calls you out of the blue.

     
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