BBB warns of Medicare phone scam targeting seniors

Wednesday, February 13, 2013 - 4:50pm

Seniors nationwide are reporting scam phone calls informing them that a new Medicare card is in the mail. Hang up on suspicious callers and don't fall for this attempt to obtain your personal information.

How the Scam Works:

You answer the phone, and the unknown caller, often with an accent, claims to be with Medicare or another government office. He informs you that your new Medicare card is in the mail, and you will receive it in a few days. In the meantime, you need to set up your direct deposit so your Medicare funds can be deposited into your bank account. To do this, you just need to tell the caller your banking information information. He/she will take care of the rest.

Of course, there is no new card and no direct deposit. The caller just wants you to share your banking information so he/she can steal from your account.

A Twist on the Medicare Card Scam:

This is just one twist on the Medicare card scam. Scammers may also ask you to verify your identity in order to receive the new card. They will ask for your Medicare card number, which is the same as your Social Security number, as well as other personal information. With that info, a scammer can easily steal your identity.

How Can I Avoid Medicare Card Identity Theft?

Don't carry your Medicare card around in your wallet. If the card is lost or stolen a scammer can use the information to commit identity theft.

Don't give your information out over the Internet, over the phone, or to anyone who comes to your home uninvited. Only give personal information to doctors or other providers approved by Medicare
If you suspect identity theft, or feel like you gave your personal information to someone you shouldn't have, call the Federal Trade Commission's ID Theft Hotline at 1-877-438-4338.
For More Information

See Medicare.gov for more information about Medicare fraud, ID theft and other issues.

To find out more about scams, check out the new BBB Scam Stopper.
http://www.bbb.org/us/article/dont-fall-for-medicare-card-phone-scam-39528

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