Medicare scams are plentiful and harmful. Healthcare fraud, specifically Medicare scams targeting the aging population, are hard to track down, stop and prevent. Seniors need to know what to look for in order to avoid becoming a victim and experiencing the emotional and financial stress that results.
Here are the top four signs that a criminal is trying to trap you in a Medicare scam:
- They Claim You’re Entitled to a Refund
It sounds too good to be true – the caller states that you are entitled to a refund because of sudden changes to your Medicare plan or a settled lawsuit. The scammer will try to ask for your bank account information in order to deposit the money you’re “owed.”
This type of offer is simply a ploy to get you to release your banking information, nothing more. If you are due a refund, you shouldn’t have to submit any financial information to receive it. You would get a check in the mail automatically or the money would be direct deposited to the same account you receive Social Security funds.
- They Ask for Your Information to Issue a New Card
You might get an in-person visit, an email or a phone call from a Medicare impersonator who states that they need your current information in order to update your Medicare card. You will be asked for your birth date, Social Security number and Medicare number.
Never fall for this false request – Medicare doesn’t need any information from you in order to update your card. They might pressure you and threaten that your coverage will lapse, but this is just a false statement used to scare seniors into complying.
- They Call and Offer a Free Visit or Medical Supplies
Other types of Medicare scams might involve an offer for a free check-up, test or equipment. Once you express interest, you will be asked for your Medicare number to finalize the offer. Then they will ask you for your credit card number in order to pay for shipping charges.
Free offers are typically just a way to glean personal information that will later be used against you, so don’t pay any attention to this type of call or email.
- They Claim to Represent a Professional Agency
Medicare scams might sound legitimate. The “representative” might claim to be from a reputable agency, even the government. They may even volunteer information about you, such as your doctor’s name and specific issues from your medical history.
It is possible that fraudsters may have gained access to your medical record through other illegal means, so even if the individual sounds legitimate, don’t offer any personal information over the phone to those you do not know and trust as an extra measure of protection against Medicare scams.
Trust My Senior Health Plan for helpful tips on how to shop online for supplemental health insurance without becoming a victim to one of the many Medicare scams – the team is ready and willing to help.