Beginning in May and continuing for the next year, the Federal Centers for Medicare and Medicare Services will mail new identification cards to Medicare recipients around the country. While the sole purpose of the new card is to reduce identity theft by removing social security numbers, there has actually been an influx in scams since they were announced.
In the latest attempt at medical identity theft, a caller posing as a Medicare representative, will ask for payment in exchange for the new ID card. Do not fall for bogus claims that Medicare is asking you to pay anything. The new Medicare card is free and anyone who calls saying he or she is from Medicare is not telling you the truth. Medicare does not make uninvited calls to beneficiaries.
Along with new card scams, you should be careful about several ongoing tactics fraudsters use, the FTC says. Here are the most common:
- Anyone who tries to sell you Medicare insurance while claiming to be an “official Medicare agent” is a scammer. There are no Medicare sales representatives.
- The Medicare prescription drug plan (also known as Part D) is voluntary. Ignore anyone who claims you must join their prescription plan or you will lose your Medicare coverage.
- Do not give any information over the phone to someone who tells you that you must provide information to keep your coverage.
- If you need help with Medicare, call 1-800-MEDICARE or go to Medicare.gov.