Seema Verma (seen in the above photo), the administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, offers the below scam alert:
Since older Americans are particularly vulnerable to coronavirus (COVID-19), I wanted to remind Medicare beneficiaries to be vigilant and take precautions to avoid falling victim to healthcare fraud during this pandemic.
We’re warning Medicare beneficiaries that scammers may try to use this pandemic to steal their Medicare number, banking information, or other personal data.
Unfortunately, scammers take advantage of the most vulnerable during times of uncertainty and change. You must protect yourself by making sure you only give your Medicare number to your doctor, pharmacist, hospital, health insurer, or other trusted healthcare provider.
If someone calls you on the phone, saying they’re from Medicare, and asks for your Medicare number or other personal information – just hang up.
Our representatives will never:
§ Call beneficiaries to ask for or to “verify” Medicare numbers.
§ Call to sell you anything.
§ Promise you things if you give them a Medicare number.
§ Visit you at your home.
§ Call you to enroll you in a Medicare program over the phone, unless you called us first.
We removed Social Security numbers from all Medicare cards last year to reduce fraud and protect our beneficiaries from identity theft. Even with this change, you should guard your Medicare card like you would a credit card. Be sure to check your Medicare claim summaries for errors and questionable bills.
If you suspect Medicare fraud, please report it by calling Medicare’s toll-free customer service center at 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227). You can also visit us online.
Please help spread the word by sharing this message with family and friends. Your health and safety is important to us. So, please continue to follow President Trump’s public health guidelines by staying home. These simple actions could save more than 1 million American lives in the weeks and months to come.