Q: What steps should I take to avoid Medicare fraud?
A: Smooth-talking scam artists are taking advantage of Medicare enrollees. Remember: Medicare staffers will never ask you for personal information, including your Social Security number, bank account information, or your Medicare identification number. They already have all the information from you that they need to serve you.
Note that if you’re enrolled in a private Part D or Medicare Advantage plan, your plan may contact you for various reasons. And if you call 1-800-Medicare and request that someone call you back, a representative can return your call. Here’s more from Medicare on avoiding scams and identity theft.
In a process that began in 2018 and will be finished by 2019, Medicare is mailing new cards to all beneficiaries. The new cards have unique identification numbers instead of Social Security numbers, in an effort to improve security. CMS and state insurance departments have warned consumers to be on the lookout for scammers during this process: You don’t need to pay for the new card, it’s being mailed automatically, and nobody from Medicare needs any additional information from you in order to get your new card to you.
Be suspicious of anyone who visits your home or calls you, asking for your personal information. Call 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227) to report suspicious phone calls.