5 Ways to Protect Yourself from Medicare Fraud
With Medicare AEP just around the corner, scammers will be out in full force. Here’s what you need to know to avoid Medicare fraud.
Understand what they’re after. Scammers like to access Medicare information for two reasons: Some use it to steal your identity, and then get credit cards or take out loans in your name. Others pose as medical supply or service companies, and then use your information to bill Medicare for fake charges. Either way, it’s fraud, and you definitely want to avoid that headache.
Remember that no one should ask for your personal information over the phone. Medicare, Social Security, and other agencies will not call you to ask for personal information such as your Medicare ID, Social Security number, and so on. They will also not request this information online, via email or other web-based platforms. They only time you should give information over the phone is if you called your Medicare representative, know that you’re speaking to a legitimate person, and there is a good reason for giving the information.
Hang up immediately if anyone calls asking for personal information. Con artists will manipulate your emotions, using fear, hope, fear of missing out on a great deal, and other feelings of urgency to motivate you to cooperate. Hang up the phone and call your Medicare representative or personal physician if you need medical services or products.
Watch for Covid scams. This is a perfect example of using fear to manipulate. Scammers are attempting to sell phony Covid tests, remedies, and preventatives over the phone, and will fraudulently bill your Medicare account. Talk to your doctor if you’re concerned about Covid, and he or she can recommend the proper steps to protect yourself.
Always check with your Medicare plan representative. If you have a question about your benefits or coverage, call your plan administrator’s customer support line. Anyone else attempting to give you information or sell you something over the phone could be a scammer.
If you need help as Medicare annual enrollment approaches this fall, give us a call. We can help you understand your options while keeping your information safe.