Medicare beneficiaries are often trusting people and can easily fall prey to scammers. It is important to be aware of the different ways scammers operate and learn how to protect your financial assets and personal information.
Some common scams:
- A caller, claiming to be a Medicare official, will call and ask you if you have a plastic Medicare card. They claim that if your card isn’t plastic, you don’t have an official card, etc. They want you to give them your Medicare number so they can send you the “correct” card. Be aware that all Medicare cards are made of paper. They are not plastic.
- Someone claiming to be a government employee will call and say that your social security number has been compromised and because of this your social security number will be suspended, therefore you will not receive your social security payments. They are seeking personal information.
- Someone, claiming to be from the IRS, may contact you telling you that you are eligible to receive another stimulus payment, but they want to verify your information.
- Someone may call, (sounding very “official”) and tell you that you have won a prize, but you need to send in a certain amount of money to collect it.
Things to remember to protect yourself from scammers:
No one from the Federal Government will call you unsolicited and ask for personal information. These agencies already have details like your Medicare and Social Security numbers.
Any important communications from the federal government usually come via the U.S. Postal Service.
No federal government agency will initiate a serious contact with you through social media, text, or email.
Medicare will not call you about a “problem” with your Medicare number or your coverage unless you initiated the first call and left a call back number. It is the same for Social Security.
Remember, NEVER give out any personal or financial information over the phone unless you have initiated the call.
Never send money to someone unless you know EXACTLY to whom you are sending it. Things that seem too good to be true, usually are.