Periodically, I plan to remind my clients, community partners, and neighbors that Medicare cards are undergoing a big change to make them more secure. Medicare is rolling out new cards starting this month and continuing through April 2019. This change has brought on New Medicare Card Scams focusing on how to get the new card. These new cards are more secure. They do this as they use a “Medicare Beneficiary Identifier” instead of a Social Security number.
The Better Business Bureau and AARP are reporting Medicare card-related scams taking advantage of confusion around the launch. Some Medicare beneficiaries are receiving calls from a person claiming to work with Medicare, stating there’s a problem and asking for their Social Security number. Finally, in another version, scammers claim beneficiaries must pay money to receive their new Medicare card.
“Anyone who is calling you for personal or financial information, hang up the phone,” said Amy Nofziger, a fraud expert with the AARP
Nofziger adding that those who do get contacted should report the scam to the federal government at 1-800-MEDICARE.
For the roughly 21.5 million seniors who are enrolled in Medicare Advantage, they should continue using the cards provided by their insurance carriers. These cards don’t contain Social Security numbers. However, their providers may still want a copy of their new Medicare cards.
Here’s what you need to know to avoid these New Medicare Card Scams:
- Medicare is not calling consumers about the card switch,
- The new Medicare cards are being provided free of charge,
- Medicare beneficiaries should never provide personal information to a stranger
- Always report any attempt at fraud to Medicare by calling 1-800-MEDICARE