Health Writer- Brings you warning of Medicare scam…Beware

Posted by barbarahales

A warning about a Medicare Scam was issued by the Better Business Bureau.

For our readers, the following is the Warning as Issued:
Scammers are tricking seniors nationwide into sharing personal information by claiming to be Medicare representatives mailing out new ID cards. Don’t fall for this attempt; just hang up on suspicious callers.

How the Scam Works:
You answer the phone, and the unknown caller claims to be with Medicare or another government office. He informs you that your new Medicare card is in the mail, and you will receive it in a few days. In the meantime, you need to set up your direct deposit so your Medicare funds can be deposited into your bank account. To do this, you just need to tell the caller your banking information. He will take care of the rest.

Of course, there is no new card and no direct deposit. The caller just wants you to share your banking information, so he can drain your account.

A Twist on This Scam:
The above is just the latest variation of the Medicare card phone scam. Other callers may ask you to verify your identity in order to receive the new card. They will ask for your Medicare card number, which is the same as your Social Security number, as well as other personal information. With that knowledge, a scammer can easily steal your identity.

How Can I Avoid Medicare Card Identity Theft?

Protect yourself from scammers by following these tips:
*Don’t carry your Medicare card around in your wallet. If the card is lost or stolen, a scammer can use the information to commit identity theft.
*Don’t give your personal information out over the Internet, phone, or to anyone who comes to your home uninvited. Only give information to doctors or other providers approved by Medicare
*If you suspect identity theft, or believe you gave your personal information to a scammer, call the Federal Trade Commission’s ID Theft Hotline at 1-877-438-4338.

For More Information
See Medicare.gov for more information about Medicare fraud and ID theft. For advice on preventing these crimes, check out this PDF.

Remember that officials from all agencies are not going to personally call you regarding your card or your account. Just think of how many accounts the agency has and how many calls that would be?!
Guard your personal information because if you don’t, others would be happy to share it!

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