Good Afternoon Neighbors,
Have you heard you will be receiving new Medicare cards? Are you wondering when and why? This won’t happen until April 2018 but scammers are already jumping on the confusion as an opportunity for fraud.
This change is to help prevent fraud and protect your identity. Currently, most people’s Social Security number is their Medicare number, which makes collecting Medicare numbers an easy target for scammers to steal your identity, open new credit cards or take out loans in your name. The new number, however, will not be tied to your Social Security number and is therefore more secure.
So how may scammers use this change to their advantage? Some scammers call beneficiaries claiming to be Medicare and say they must confirm their current Medicare numbers before sending them a new card. Others call saying there is a charge for the new card and are collecting beneficiaries’ personal information. There is no charge for your new card and Medicare will never call you for your information. They already have it.
If you receive any such calls or suspicious solicitations, hang up and call the Senior Medicare Patrol at 1-855-613-7080.
If you need help with your Medicare, call the Health Insurance Counseling and Advocacy Program (HICAP) at 1-800-434-0222. Here is the link www.cahealthadvocates.org.
Submitted By: Erin Smith, Co-Chair Information Advisory Committee