What is a Medicare Scam?

A Medicare scam is a fraudulent attempt to obtain personal or financial information from a Medicare beneficiary. Scammers often pose as representatives of Medicare, a Medicare-approved insurance company, or a government agency. They may use phone calls, emails, or even in-person visits to trick their victims.

Types of Medicare Scams

There are many different types of Medicare scams, but some of the most common include:

  • Imposter scams: Scammers pose as representatives of Medicare or a Medicare-approved insurance company and call beneficiaries to request personal information, such as their Medicare number, Social Security number, or bank account number. They may also claim that the beneficiary is owed money or that their benefits are in jeopardy.
  • Phishing scams: Scammers send emails that appear to be from Medicare or a Medicare-approved insurance company. The emails often contain links that, when clicked, lead to fake websites that look like the real Medicare website. Once the victim enters their personal information on the fake website, the scammer can steal it.
  • In-person scams: Scammers may visit Medicare beneficiaries at their homes and offer to help them enroll in a Medicare plan or Medicare Advantage plan. They may also claim that the beneficiary is eligible for free medical equipment or other benefits. In reality, the scammer is just trying to steal the beneficiary’s personal information.

How to Protect Yourself from Medicare Scams

There are a few things you can do to protect yourself from Medicare scams:

  • Never give out your personal information over the phone or online unless you are sure the person you are talking to is legitimate.

  • Be suspicious of any unsolicited calls or emails that claim to be from Medicare or a Medicare-approved insurance company.

  • Never click on links in emails that you are not sure are legitimate.

  • Be aware of the signs of a Medicare scam. These signs may include:

    • The caller or email sender is asking for personal information that Medicare would not normally ask for, such as your bank account number or credit card number.
    • The caller or email sender is pressuring you to act quickly or you will lose your benefits.
    • The caller or email sender is making you feel afraid or threatened.

If you think you have been the victim of a Medicare scam, there are a few things you can do:

  • Report the scam to Medicare. You can do this by calling 1–800-MEDICARE (1–800–633–4227) or visiting medicare.gov/report-fraud.
  • Place a fraud alert on your credit report. This will make it more difficult for scammers to open accounts in your name.
  • File a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). You can do this online at ftc.gov/complaint.

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