NEW MEDICARE CARDS GIVE SCAMMERS NEW IDEAS
According to the Department of Health & Human Services, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), new Medicare cards will be mailed out beginning in April 2018. The new cards contain a unique, randomly assigned number that replaces the current Social Security-based number.
“The goal of the initiative to remove Social Security numbers from Medicare cards is to help prevent fraud, combat identity theft, and safeguard taxpayer dollars,” said CMS Administrator Seema Verma.
Good news, right? This is very good news for beneficiaries who want more protection. However, according to the AARP Fraud Watch Network, the proposed change presented an opening to scammers. Scammers went to work as soon as they learned about the rollout of the new cards.
Here are some of the ways scammers have tried to use the new card rollout to scam Medicare beneficiaries:
Calling and claiming to be from Medicare-
The caller states that Congress requires a fee for the new card and it must come directly out of your checking account. The scammer then asks for your account information. THERE IS NO FEE FOR THE NEW CARD!
The caller will ask you to verify your Social Security number in order to issue the new card replacement. MEDICARE WILL NOT CALL AND ASK FOR YOUR SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBER!
This information will be used to steal your identity and your money. Don’t fall for it and hang up. You will eventually receive your new card by mail along with instructions to keep your new Medicare number confidential. As the scammers continue to work on new ways to scam you, be aware. If you stay aware, you can spot it and stop it.
If you have questions about the issues raised in this article or have another legal or Medicare-related matter, call Elder Law & Advocacy 858 565-1392 to see if you qualify for free assistance.