Medicare scams lead to big financial burdens for the taxpayers and the government. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General reveals that Medicare scams cost its beneficiaries and the government billions annually. Stolen Medicare numbers and Social Security Information are becoming valuable loot for scammers to claim bills for services or supplies that you never received. The more paid in fake claims makes you unable to file claims for legitimate health care needs.
However, you can protect yourself from these scams by knowing various warning signs, which include:
- Violent or Intimidating Strategies
Medicare scammers may call you several times throughout the day or leave plenty of voice mails. Some may threaten to gain compliance. For example, they might tell you that your Medicare plan will be cancelled if you don’t provide them with your information or claim that they may have you arrested if you don’t verify your identity. In truth, the government won’t call to ask about your Medicare plan.
- Verification of Identity
Scammers can easily steal your name, Social Security Number, home address, contact number, etc., with identity verification. Sometimes, they may ask you to provide your credit card number for verification purposes. If you share these, they will access your Medicare plan and financial accounts.
Medicare usually does not contact its beneficiaries to verify their identities or send emails concerning it. So, if you are not sure about the legitimacy of the call, you can directly contact Medicare to ensure whether the agency has recently contacted you.
- Unwanted Phone Calls
Scammers might tell that they work for the government or reliable insurance companies. Sometimes, they may change their caller identification number to pretend it looks like a local Medicare office number. The government will not contact you to market or sell a Medicare plan.
- Mail Solicitation
While some Medicare providers may contact you via the mail, many scammers send fake plan documents through it. So, don’t revert to such mails using the contact information provided in them. Instead, research plans on the Medicare page or your plan provider’s website and enroll in a plan online or at a local office.
- Sales from Door-to-Door
Insurance agents usually won’t visit your home to sell a Medicare plan without an appointment. This means any door-to-door person offering to provide you with a Medicare plan is likely a scammer, so don’t share your personal information with them. Otherwise, check with your state’s insurance commissioner to ensure whether the agent is licensed to sell Medicare plans.
- Fake Emails
Scammers may use design tools to make an email look similar to an insurance provider or Medicare agency’s email. They may also imitate Medicare email addresses or redirect you to a web page looking like the real Medicare page.
Don’t provide your personal information to anyone via email, even if they seem authorized. Instead, sign into your insurance or Medicare account to update and verify your information. However, don’t log into your account following any email links, as they may navigate you to a fake page.