If you or one of your loved ones are on Medicare, you’re probably aware that open enrollment ends on December 7. And you’re probably reviewing and comparing different options to select a plan that’s right for you. But as you shop around, know that scammers might take advantage of this period to impersonate Medicare agents.
Scammers may sound professional, say they’re from Medicare, and have your personal details. But in reality, they’re trying to steal your money, Medicare information, or your identity. Here’s how to spot potential scams and what to do:
- Don’t trust the name displayed on your phone. Scammers can fake a caller ID.
- Hang up if anyone calls and asks for your Medicare, Social Security, or bank or credit card information. Legitimate Medicare employees have your Medicare number on file.
- Don’t be rushed into making a decision. You have until December 7 to enroll, and Medicare doesn’t offer extra benefits for signing up early.
- Ignore threats to take away your benefits. If you qualify, your benefits can’t be taken away for not signing up for a plan.
- Don’t talk to anyone that suggests their plan is preferred by Medicare. The truth is that Medicare doesn’t endorse a specific plan.
- Get help to deal with Medicare fraud and abuse at smpresource.org.
- Visit the Eldercare Locator or call toll-free 1-800-677-1116 to find local resources that can give you more information about the different Medicare plans available.
To report someone pretending to be affiliated with Medicare and other Medicare scams, call 1-800-MEDICARE (800-633-4227) and tell the FTC at ReportFraud.ftc.gov.
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.
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- 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 ReportFraud.ftc.gov.
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Received a call from 443-737-6468 stating that I will be receiving a new Medicare card but they needed to verify my #. I Reported to Medicare
In reply to Received a call from 443-737… by A. Lewis
Very smart move on your part
Can anything be done to reduce or end the phone calls all claiming to be Medicare Services or other such names? I'm on the do not call list but during open enrollment period, I get two or three calls a day. They are usually computer generated, so getting info from them requires pushing a number, which they would say I requested the call so the DNC doesn't apply.
In reply to Can anything be done to… by Bill Chestnut
Medicare robocalls are endless, I get them all day long on my landline, Mon-Sat, they seem to skip Sunday and the calls usually stop around 5-6pm. My phone provider ATT suggests how I can stop the calls but what info they offer is totally useless. I even bought a phone with a Block Call button that does - nothing. Apparently I need caller ID for it to work, which in my case would be an additional expense that ATT says likely wouldn't help if I did purchase their service. It's unfortunate that companies like ATT & others allow scam calls to go through and folks lose lot's of money.
Yes my phone rings off the hook with Medicare callers, I block them with no success. I'm also getting call from Healthcare too. These calls are very annoying. Unable to stop them from calling, so frustrating!
In reply to Yes my phone rings off the… by Maria
Me, too, but I receive them almost every half hour from 8 am to 6 pm! I've blocked them all to no availl--for the past 5 weeks!
In reply to Yes my phone rings off the… by Maria
Thank you for this information. It is really needed as most of us seniors don't know when we are being scammed when it comes to people telling us they are with Medicare and needed information such as our ID Medicare number. Seniors are be too trusting.
This article was a tremendous help because I have been receiving all kind of scans calling concerning medicare. Thank You so much. The article was very informative, and very empowering. 😊
I was once asked for my ssn. I simply do not give that out over the phone.
That may be a good rule for us all.
In reply to I was once asked for my ssn… by Mike Muroski
Yes, it is a good practice/rule as we should NEVER give out our social security info over the phone to anyone.
Thankyou for the information about Medicare fraud because there are so many scams trying to steal money, identity, benefits ! ,everyone is at risk these days!
I have been inundated with robot calls from both local area codes and so many others concerning Medicare "Supplement" insurance policies...I reported this to the FCC to put my cel phone number on the "no call" list, and after 31 days, this service has not obviously worked. I receive calls every half hour or so daily, from 8 am to 6pm..!
In reply to I have been inundated with… by Douglas Scott Treado
your do not call robot calls have not stopped signing up for it. What a waste of my time, thinking the goverment would help us.
In reply to your do not call robot calls… by Rita Derrow
You can block each # they call from.
Good info! Thanks.
A big problem is that "Medicare Advantage" plans are all basically scams.
I'm assuming that this also applies to scan emails....
I get these calls DAILY since Sept before open enrollment. Ive NEVER had SO MANY SCAMMER CALLS DAILY IN My LIFE. I dont even report them anymore b.c NOTHING ever happens to them. Whats the point.?