How to Avoid Medicare Scams: Stay Informed

Medicare is commonly used by older Americans, many of whom might be more susceptible to scams. Starting in April 2018, in an effort to curb scams, Medicare cards began using a different number from the Social Security number. However, there are still a number of Medicare scams you need to be aware of in order to keep yourself safe.

Medicare Scams: Staying Informed

Temporary Cards

One type of phone-based scam includes scammers claiming as though they are issuing temporary Medicare cards. Often, these scams will come via phone calls, and the scammers will state they need to be wired some amount of money, such as $50. Then, they will ask for the victim’s address, so they can “send them their new card”.

There’s no such thing as a temporary card. Don’t fall for this kind of scam! The US Government won’t call you on the phone and ask for you to send them money in order to issue you a Medicare card, temporary or otherwise. Remember: you don’t need some temporary card to access your Medicare benefits. Your existing card is good until December 31st, 2019.

Processing Fee Scam

Another common scam in this vein is the “processing fee scam”. These scams are also often done over the phone, though they can occur via email, as well. In either event, the scammers claim to be Medicare officials and claim that the recipient needs to pay a processing fee. Scammers ask for a credit card number in order to pay for some various fee.

Common scams of this variety will claim that there is a processing fee due for a new card. However, keep in mind that the government will not call you on the phone and ask for your credit card. If you get such a call, simply disregard it.

Mail-In Scam

The “mail-in” scam has the scammers attempt to convince a recipient to mail their old Medicare card in for disposal. This is a scam attempting to get your social security number, among other information, off of your old card. The government will not need you to mail your old card in, and you shouldn’t give your old card to anyone. Simply destroy it when you receive your new card.