Since older Americans are particularly vulnerable to coronavirus (COVID-19), the Social Security Administration is reminding Medicare beneficiaries to be vigilant and take precautions to avoid falling victim to healthcare fraud during this pandemic. The Social Security Administration is warning Medicare beneficiaries that scammers may try to use this pandemic to steal their Medicare number, banking information or other personal data.
Unfortunately, scammers take advantage of the most vulnerable people during times of uncertainty and change. People must protect themselves by making sure they only give their Medicare number to a doctor, pharmacist, hospital, health insurer or other trusted healthcare provider,
If someone calls on the phone, saying they are from Medicare, and asks for your Medicare number or other personal information – just hang up, says Area IV Public Affairs Specialist for PR and USVI Victor Rodriguez of the Social Security Administration.
Medicare representatives will never:
- Call beneficiaries to ask for or to “verify” Medicare numbers.
- Call to sell you anything.
- Promise you things if you give them a Medicare number.
- Visit you at your home.
- Call you to enroll you in a Medicare program over the phone, unless you called us first.
Medicare cards no longer have Social Security numbers on them to reduce fraud and protect beneficiaries from identity theft. Even with this change, you should guard your Medicare card just like you would a credit card. Be sure to check your Medicare claim summaries for errors and questionable bills.
If you suspect Medicare fraud, please report it by calling Medicare’s toll-free customer service center at 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227). People can also visit Medicare online at www.medicare.gov/forms-help-resources/help-fight-medicare-fraud.
Please help inform others by sharing this message with family and friends.