Yesterday, a representative from Medicare called my mother asking all types of personal questions to register her for the new Medicare card which is coming in mid-2018. I just happened to be at her house and was able to take the call.
I told them that she did not give personal information over the phone I’m concerned this could be a scam, but then if it was Medicare, I’m concerned I could have made a mistake and she will not get her new Medicare card.
I’ve advised my mother not to answer the phone and to let voice mail screen calls. Can you please advise me what I should do or where I could call to see if Medicare is trying to contact my mother?
Alice Norwalk, CT
Don’t Worry Alice:
You can relax because you were correct not to give your mother’s personal information over the phone because Medicare or Social Security does not randomly call your home or office and ask for your personal information. Medicare already has the information they need regarding your mother’s Medicare account.
Baby Boomers and America’s Seniors’ need to be aware that Medicare or Social Security will never call you! This is the way that scammers get your personal information for fraudulent Medicare billing for services you never ordered only to line their pockets or other fraudulent actions that can drain your credit. Both agencies will send you a letter to let you know you need to contact them.
There will be new Medicare cards being released starting in April 2018 in a few states and it will take over a year to get new Medicare cards in all 50 states.
The Toni Says® office is having more calls regarding the new Medicare card because many are receiving calls just as your mother has and these calls are from scammers trying to get your Medicare information; such as your Medicare number and what your Medicare Part A and B dates are. You should never give your personal information to anyone via the phone.
Here are a few tips to help protect you against Medicare or Social Security fraud:
- Never give your Medicare or Social Security number to strangers, especially those who call you on the phone or come to your door. Just like you tell your grandkids not to talk to strangers, you need realize strangers are not always your new friends. Play the Stranger Danger game.
- Do NOT accept “free” offers in exchange for your Medicare number. Remember, there is nothing “free”. They will have Medicare pay for whatever they are offering, and they will use your Medicare number to get it paid for!!
- Do not accept offers from door to door sales people. Watch out who you let in your house.
- Never sign a blank form
- Always Hang up when someone calls saying they represent Medicare or Social Security!
Medicare fraud is exploding and stealing “Baby Boomers and Seniors’ valuable Medicare dollars.” The only way to stop it is to let your friends know what I have just told you. We need to stand together and stop those who only want to make a “fast buck” from your personal information. Together, we can do that!