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Hang Up on Medicare Card Scams

Earlier this year, Medicare began sending new cards to everyone who gets Medicare benefits. The new cards help protect identities by replacing each person’s Social Security number with a unique Medicare number. As expected, scammers are trying to cash in on this change.

These scammers typically reach out by phone and have tried a few different tactics:

  • Sometimes, they claim to be a Medicare representative and ask to verify your information. They’re actually stealing it.
  • They may also claim that there’s a fee for your new card. There isn’t.
  • Others claim your Medicare card was compromised and you need to move your money from your bank into “safer accounts”. Following their advice means putting your money in their pockets.
  • Some scammers offer plastic versions of the card for a fee – even though the real Medicare cards are paper and there are no legitimate plastic cards.

How can you avoid these scams? Remember these tips:

  • Don’t give personal information to get your new Medicare card. If someone calls claiming to be from Medicare, asking for your Social Security number, bank information, or other information to get your new card, that’s a scam. Hang up. Medicare will never ask you to give personal information to get your new Medicare number and card.
  • Don’t pay for your new card. It’s yours for free. If anyone calls and says you need to pay for it, that’s a scam. Hang up.
  • Guard your card. When you get your new card, safeguard it like you would any other health insurance or credit card. While removing the Social Security number cuts down on many types of identity theft, you’ll still want to protect your new card because identity thieves could use it to get medical services.

If you’ve already given out your bank account information over the phone, contact your bank immediately. It’s important to deal with any unauthorized activity on your account as soon as possible.

For more information about the new Medicare cards, go to go.medicare.gov/newcard.

Source: https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/

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