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Medicare Alert

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Medicare Cards Scam Alert


A friend who teaches for the Texas Senior Medicare Patrol, a division within the Better Business Bureau, was recently informed about a likely, upcoming Medicare scam.  


Medicare does not charge for cards or ask for your personal information over the phone


Here's what you need to know to protect yourself, family and friends who are qualified for Medicare. 


Starting April 1, 2018, Medicare will start a yearlong project to replace all current Medicare cards to convert to alphanumeric.  Currently the ID number is one’s social security number.  This is starting to hit the media, and scammers are opportunistic.


For those on Medicare, the new Medicare card will come to them in the mail.  You don't need to request it or do anything.  It will show up.


WHAT'S THE MEDICARE SCAM?


Somebody purporting to be from Medicare will call and tell you something like, “You are getting a new Medicare card.  But until it comes you will need a temporary card.  The fee for the card is between $5-50 dollars.” They will ask you for personal information as well as bank account or credit card numbers so they can “process and send you your temporary card.”


THINGS TO REMEMBER

Medicare will never call you unless you ask them to.  Medicare does all communications by mail unless you have previously asked them to call.


Ditto for anybody saying they “work with Medicare to make sure you get everything you are entitled to.”  Scammer alert.


HOW TO PROTECT YOURSELF FROM THIS ONE?

1.    First, spread the word 

2.    Use your answering machine to screen calls or just don't answer a number you don't recognize


If it has happened to you (or your friends or loved ones and personal information has been given out; happens considerably more often than we think), immediately take action to protect yourself against identity theft.


See further details at https://oig.ssa.gov/newsroom/ blog/june16-new-medicare-cards.  

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