Know the Most Common Medicare Scams


Know the Most Common Medicare Scams

Know the Most Common Medicare Scams

                Medicare is a complex topic, and unfortunately, scammers take advantage of its complexity to steal your information. All Medicare recipients should be aware of the common Medicare scams and how to avoid them.

Common Medicare Scams

  1. Payment for a new card or for an “upgrade” to a plastic card.
  2. A “refund” that requires verification of Social Security and bank information.
  3. An offer to purchase a Part D plan.
  4. The unprompted verification of personal information such as address, social security number, or Medicare number.
  5. A notification that your new card is “lost” or “compromised.”
  6. A requirement to mail back your old card.
  7. A notification you have “won” free healthcare products or services.

The Truth

  1. You do not need to do anything to get a new Medicare card or to activate a new card; they will send one to the address on file. Medicare does not offer a plastic card.
  2. Medicare will never call you to verify any information or for any other reason unless you have requested a call from 1-800-MEDICARE. Medicare will never threaten to cancel your coverage if you do not provide personal information over the phone.
  3. Verify all Medicare plan offers by calling 1-800-MEDICARE.
  4. Review all Medicare statements and call 1-800-MEDICARE for discrepancies.
  5. Never mail back an old Medicare card – personally destroy it.
  6. Never give your Medicare number or any other personal information, especially in exchange for “free” items.
  7. Never join a Medicare health or drug plan over the phone unless you have called 1-800-MEDICARE.


                The important takeaway is to remember that Medicare will never call you to sell anything and will especially never visit your home. Furthermore, Medicare or a Medicare representative will only call for personal information if you’re already a member and a customer service representative is returning your call.

                It is also important to remember that scammers often know personal information about you to gain your trust. This does not mean they are who they say they are! Personal information can be easily obtained by scammers through the dark web, and they are all after the same information. They want your social security, credit card, bank account, and Medicare numbers.

                Lastly, the best practice is to hang up immediately and call Medicare at 1-800-MEDICARE. If you need to report a scam to Medicare or the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) keep the following information ready: your name, Medicare number, the name of the provider you are reporting, and any identifying information you have.

                Knowing the most common lies of Medicare scams versus the truth is an important first step in combating them. The second step is ensuring those scammers are reported and brought to justice. If you or a loved one has been affected by a Medicare scam, please reach out to the appropriate authorities. With a little know-how and information, we can keep each other safe.


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