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Scammers have been targeting Medicare recipients with a scheme to get “free or low-cost” back and knee braces. They’re calling, running television ads, and mailing letters to get people to give their Medicare information. But if you give them your information, they’ll use it to fraudulently bill Medicare for braces or other medical equipment. This uses up your medical benefits, which means you might not be able to get the right brace later, if your doctor prescribes one.

If you or someone you know is covered by Medicare, please share these ideas on how to avoid these scams:

  • If someone calls and says they’re from Medicare and offers you a “free” or “low cost” brace, hang up right away. No one from Medicare will call you with such an offer. It’s a scam.
  • Never give your Medicare or other personal information over the phone to anyone who calls asking for it.
  • If you suspect someone is using your Medicare information, check your Medicare Summary Notice to be sure you (and Medicare) are only being charged for services you really got.
  • If you need a brace or another type of medical equipment or prescription, talk to your doctor. Sellers on the phone don’t know what you need — and you may need nothing.
  • Don’t accept medical equipment you get in the mail — unless you or your doctor ordered it. If it comes to your door and you didn’t order it, you can keep it as a gift. You don’t have to pay for things you didn’t order.
  • Find out more about Medicare fraud by visiting or calling 800-MEDICARE (800-633-4227). Also, read the FTC’s article on medical identity theft.

If you’ve seen or heard about this or other scams, report it to the FTC online or by calling 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357).

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The purpose of this blog and its comments section is to inform readers about Federal Trade Commission activity, and share information to help them avoid, report, and recover from fraud, scams, and bad business practices. Your thoughts, ideas, and concerns are welcome, and we encourage comments. But keep in mind, this is a moderated blog. We review all comments before they are posted, and we won’t post comments that don’t comply with our commenting policy. We expect commenters to treat each other and the blog writers with respect.

  • We won’t post off-topic comments, repeated identical comments, or comments that include sales pitches or promotions.
  • We won’t post comments that include vulgar messages, personal attacks by name, or offensive terms that target specific people or groups.
  • We won’t post threats, defamatory statements, or suggestions or encouragement of illegal activity.
  • We won’t post comments that include personal information, like Social Security numbers, account numbers, home addresses, and email addresses. To file a detailed report about a scam, go to

We don't edit comments to remove objectionable content, so please ensure that your comment contains none of the above. The comments posted on this blog become part of the public domain. To protect your privacy and the privacy of other people, please do not include personal information. Opinions in comments that appear in this blog belong to the individuals who expressed them. They do not belong to or represent views of the Federal Trade Commission.

Anil Kakad
October 25, 2019
if I get a suspicious voice mail (usually 800... type prefix) indicating fraud using my SS#, hang up!!. Then I call back the same # and get no response. FRAUD
Don't use your…
October 26, 2019
I have been getting so many of these calls claiming that my doctor has ordered a brace for me when I know that he hasn't so I blocked their numbers but still continued getting calls so I bought a big , loud whistle and blew it over the phone at the forioner and he got the message. No more calls !
December 05, 2019

In reply to by Don't use your…

What a brilliant idea! I actually have the earmuffs to wear while blowing it, but I don't have the energy to fuss with these guys, so I just hang up. That's made them all stop (knock on wood!) except this one about braces, which claims to be "Nancy" and has been calling 5 or 6 times a day for weeks.
November 08, 2019
this phone number 306 988 5659
November 11, 2019
But what happens when you really do get the brace in the mail..and medicare pays for it like it should. Is it a scam then too? Because it happened. I guess the only scam is not choosing a doctor to do it.oops.
So Much Ringing
May 22, 2020

In reply to by Kindred

They are committing fraud, even if it seems to benefit you. As they warned above, "they’ll use it to fraudulently bill Medicare for braces or other medical equipment. This uses up your medical benefits, which means you might not be able to get the right brace later, if your doctor prescribes one." You may end up having trouble getting what you need if that is not actually the best brace for you.
September 21, 2021

In reply to by Kindred

The fact that you get it is not the point the fact is they charge your insurance like $800 for a $25 brace that's the scam.
Kk love
November 12, 2019
I always get the scam calls recently. They will ask me something about my information about medical care or hearing. Also , some of scammers are know my name and my children names. I’m really concern about that how did they get this information? Does it means my personal medical information got theft and hacked? The following numbers are some of the scammers that I know. I hope can help a bit for everyone to notice the scam calls. 626-499-5644/ 626–499-5373/ 626-499-6558/ 626-412-4891/ 626-412-2949/ 626-607-7595/ 626-607-3664/ 626-607-2919
December 03, 2019

In reply to by Kk love

My parents have been getting at least 3 dozen calls a week from "medicare offing to send her a back brace for free. I just got her to under its a scam. Only a Dr can write a RX for any type of brace if your private insurance or Medicare is going to pay. the name of the guy calling stating he is with Medicare is... MORGAN LAVORN 323-920-6904
youdont knowme
February 18, 2020

In reply to by MK

if I don't know who is calling, (caller ID) I never answer the phone
San Diego senior
November 23, 2019
My caller id records indicate these scammers are calling several times a day. I usually don't answer my land line, but have often enough to hear part of these scammers' recording and press my "block call" button. They come from local numbers (no doubt spoofed) and seem to have so many that even blocking them hasn't stopped the calls. I like the whistle idea, but how does that work when the call is a recording?
Don't use Conc…
December 04, 2019
They just targeted my elderly mother with dimenthia and I don't know what to do. I don't know how much information she really gave them she said she didn't give them any but she may just not remember?
Jake Jones
December 26, 2019
I kept them on the line for ten minutes while they tried to get info from me without success. Then I told them my aches and pains had all gone away and I was feeling pretty good about wasting ten minutes of their time so they could not scam anyone else. They hung rather quickly. :)
January 22, 2020
Just had a call from 'Senior Medical ' offering free braces. I asked them where their office was and they said in my Town. I wanted their address,but they wouldn't give it to me. I told them to take me off their list which I also requested a few days ago. They hung up and I called them back,but their number is not in service. Their number was 248-429-5832 I am so very tired of these scams!
Jack Johnson
March 04, 2020
I'm just confused how if someone has bad knees for instance and a Licensed Physician in their state signs off on it to alleviate the pain, and the health insurance covers it how is it a scam ? Its 2020... Its called telemedicine... Perfectly legal... People are quick to call anything on the phone a scam... The whole conversation is recorded verifying causes of pain, levels of pain etc... I find it amazing how peoples doctors are quick to push narcotics , but when someone mentions support brace for someone who had 4 prior back surgeries its an issue...
So Much Ringing
May 22, 2020

In reply to by Jack Johnson

Those telehealth visits are fine, and are getting more use than ever right now! This information is about a specific type of scam- the callers are NOT doctors nor affiliated with doctors. These are criminals trying to use your Medicare information to make money by submitting fraudulent claims on your behalf .
June 09, 2020
I am receiving calls offering to help me get SSI benefits but I am already on it. Another frequent call i get says they are from diabetic connect and they know my name. They are offering diabetes supplies at half the cost. How do they know your name? These scammers sell info...your info to other places doing the same type of thing. They have slowed down since registering with Do Not Call registry it works I think everyone should have it for their own safety
August 27, 2020
I get these calls for my mother all the time. They already know her name, address and Medicare ID number as well as what joint pains she has previously reported to her doctor. How do they get this information?
August 29, 2020
call yesterday from 415-729-8916. Guy gave his name as Mario Jackson and his employer ID #7452V. Said he was contacting me on behalf of Medicare regarding a "free gift" of a brace for pain.
December 14, 2020
Another number to block. 434-262-0981
February 04, 2021
Many of these callers use VOIP which allows them to change the number each time they call. They choose a local number to display on the caller ID and utis impossible to trace them. JUST HANG UP!!!
June 09, 2021
I have been getting the back brace scam calls for over six months now. However, in the past two days I have gotten about 20 calls, so far. They come from a variety of different numbers, usually with a foreign accent, and say they are from Medicare, health department or pain management center or some other bogus group. They push hard, and even tell me my brace is being delivered. I have resorted to telling them I don't have any more back pain, but even that did not stop some of them. I do have a call blocker and NoMoRobo, but that of course is no help when they have thousands of numbers to choose from.
July 08, 2021
I received multiple calls today from 716-623-4257 and 716-623-4259. I’m not even on Medicare!
May 23, 2022

I need FBI officer number

May 23, 2022

I've been getting zillions of these calls. Today, I decided to have a conversation with the caller. Thus, I learned that the caller actually knew my Medicare number. (I asked him to tell me what it was, and he did so.) The only way I can think of that he had try Medicare number is if the Medicare database was hacked. I don't know how to reclaim my privacy now that the number is out there. The number he called from was for a real cosmetics store.