Medicare Scams - How To Avoid Them
Updated: Nov 24, 2021
Scamming operations seem to be everywhere these days. So it shouldn’t be a surprise that scams have been adapted to prey on Medicare recipients. These scams are easy to avoid but difficult to get out of because Medicare is the tip of the iceberg.
Let me explain. One thing, scammers don’t play by the rules except their own.
Right now we are in the middle of the Medicare Annual Enrollment Period (AEP) that runs through December 15th. During this time frame there is an abundance of TV, radio and print advertising from numerous companies bragging about their Medicare plans.
I have also noticed a significant increase in the number of spam phone calls I am receiving at home and the office. Our clients also confirm that these calls do not stop.
An incoming phone call is a little more intrusive that other media and there’s a real human to answer questions.
In general, I don’t answer calls where I do not recognize the caller ID. But caller IDs can be faked too. For instance it could say “hospital”, “doctor’s office”, “Medicare” or anything to encourage you to answer the call.
One time, an incoming call at my home, the caller ID was my name! It looked like I was calling myself.
According to several federal sources, the number of complaints from Seniors who have been tricked into buying policies has increased. These policies probably don’t have the coverage, if any, that you, the enrollee think you are buying.
So what is the sales pitch? Their end game is to get your personal information that they can use to their advantage. The caller may ask you to verify your Medicare number to make sure it’s correct for the “new” cards being issued.
That sounds like a fair enough question, but shouldn’t the caller already know your Medicare number?
Depending on how easy it is to obtain information they may shoot for more, such as a social security number.
I’ve received these calls and told them “you called me, you tell me my number and I will verify it!” My question is met with a resounding “CLICK!”
What can scammers do with a Medicare number? They could bill Medicare for services and medical supplies you never received. They could also sign you up for a Medicare Advantage or drug plan without your knowledge.
What can you do to avoid this? First, don’t give out any personal information whatsoever, it doesn’t matter who they say they are. If in doubt, hang up and call them back on a Medicare number you KNOW is correct, not the one they give you.
Secondly, call your local insurance agent directly. We are Government regulated, licensed and must attend hours of training annually.
By working with a local agent, like us, you benefit from local knowledge, experience and personal service. You will not be dealing with a faceless person on the other end of the phone who may or may not be who they say they are.
We are your local agent when you need to Apply For Medicare In Nevada servicing the Las Vegas and Henderson areas. Please call us with any questions at 702-573-7766.
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