Open Enrollment Means Open Season for Medicare Scammers
It’s Medicare open enrollment season, and that means Medicare is top of mind for many of us. And, as they so often do, scammers are looking to get in on the action for their own benefit. Here are a few examples of common Medicare scams.
How It Works
You receive a call or home visit from a home health care agency offering to sign you up for services that Medicare will pay for.
You get a call or respond to an ad offering state-of-the-art braces to relieve joint pain that Medicare will pay for.
You get a call claiming that Medicare is sending out new “chip-enabled” Medicare cards.
You get a call about a special “deal” on a new Medicare plan during open enrollment. It may come with a free gift or limited-time offer.
What You Should Know
Anytime you see an ad or get a call offering you something for “free” from Medicare, it is a scam. Home health services and medical equipment are only covered by Medicare under a doctor’s prescription. These are attempts at getting you to share your Medicare number so that criminals can bill thousands of dollars in fake claims to Medicare.
Medicare is sticking with the current paper card and is not sending out chip-enabled cards. It’s simply a ploy to get you to share your Medicare number or other sensitive information. Learn more about this new scam.
By law, legitimate Medicare insurance providers will contact you only if you have previously requested information.
What You Should Do
Do not accept "free" products or services in exchange for your Medicare number.
Hang up on anyone calling and claiming you need a chip-enabled Medicare card.
If someone calls with a “sounds too good to be true” Medicare Advantage offer, hang up and call the company back directly at a phone number you can independently verify.
When it comes to fraud, vigilance is our number one weapon. You have the power to protect yourself and your loved ones from scams. Please share this alert with friends and family and visit the Fraud Watch Network.
AARP Fraud Watch Network
P.S. Are you active on social media? Do you enjoy sharing information that can help prevent friends and family from falling victim to scams? Become a volunteer AARP Fraud Watch Network (FWN) Digital Fraud Fighter! In exchange for simply sharing the same type of content with your friends and family that you already do, Digital Fraud Fighters will receive access to exclusive scam briefings plus a Welcome Packet, that includes a T-shirt, a special lapel pin, a copy of the FWN Con Artist’s Playbook, the FWN Watchdog Alert Handbook, and more. Interested? Send us a note at FWN@aarp.org for more information!
To report a scam or for help if you or a loved one has fallen victim,contact the AARP Fraud Watch Network Helpline.
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