These days, we just can’t be too careful with our personal information. A con artist who accesses data such as your Social Security number or Medicare information can inflict quite a bit of damage upon your finances, your credit score, and other areas of your life.
Medicare information is frequently targeted by criminals because it can be used to steal your entire identity. From there, fraudsters can take out personal loans or credit cards in your name. Medicare fraud can also involve fraudulent charges for phony medical products and services.
To avoid Medicare fraud, take the following steps.
Keep your card secure. If your card is lost or stolen, call Medicare to report the problem.
Exercise caution on the phone. Medicare does not call anyone to enroll them, and they won’t ask for identifying information unless you call them. If anyone calls you claiming to be from Medicare, and they want to ask you for personal information, hang up the phone immediately.
Likewise, exercise extreme caution any time someone calls to sell you a medical product or service. Check with your primary physician about your medical needs, and they can connect you with a legitimate company.
Don’t fall for coronavirus scams. One mail-order coronavirus test has been approved by the FDA, but you must order it through your doctor. Anyone calling or emailing to offer you coronavirus tests or cures is probably a con artist.
Learn about manipulative tactics. Even knowing the above rules, some people are still pressured into giving out their Medicare information. Con artists pressure you with fear-based tactics, “fear of missing out”, or causing you to feel alarmed about your finances in some way. If you feel that your emotions are being manipulated, you are experiencing high-pressure tactics from an unethical person.
Check your Medicare Summary Notices. Your plan administrator should send you these notices in the mail regularly. Review them and report any charges that you don’t recognize.
When you have questions about your Medicare plan, call your agent or your plan administrator’s customer service line. Consult your primary physician about any medical products, tests, or services that you might need.