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Protect yourself against Medicare scams

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Still getting calls from people claiming to be from Medicare, asking for money or personal information? Watch this video about how you can protect yourself from Medicare scams: 

Medicare Scams sound like this

The FTC worked with AARP to create a series of videos about imposter scams – including Medicare scams, IRS imposters and robocalls. While the videos are aimed at older Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, the tips apply to everyone. For the next three Fridays, we’ll highlight these videos.

This week, you’ll learn about these calls that pretend to be from Medicare. The video will help you recognize the scammers who ask for your Medicare number so you can get a back or neck brace. Or who say they need your information or money so you can get a new Medicare card. And you’ll hear from an FTC expert about how to avoid these scams:

  • Hang up. If someone calls claiming to be from Medicare, asking for your Social Security number or bank information to get your new card or new benefits, that’s a scam.
  • Don’t give personal information to a caller claiming to be from Medicare. You can’t trust caller id. These calls can be spoofed so they look like they’re coming from Medicare even when they’re not. Before you give any personal information, initiate your own call to Medicare at 1-800-MEDICARE.
  • Report the call. Report Medicare imposters at 1-800-MEDICARE and ftc.gov/complaint. The more we hear from you, the more we can help fight scams.

For more information about stopping imposter scams, visit ftc.gov/imposters. And to learn about how to stop unwanted calls, including using call blocking technology, go to ftc.gov/calls.

Comments

I can’t say I’m smarter than others, but I can immediately identify a scam. If Medicare calls they should already have your SS number. Or even your Medicare provider. Anyone asking me for personal information is “phishing” but they won’t get any bites from me.

They don't day they're from Medicare. They're saying they're from Orthopedic Medical about my 'back pain' . I tell them I'm fine and don't work w/ strangers over the phone

Us, too!

Same with my elderly parents. Have told them point blank (I've heard them) that no, they DON'T want any free medical equipment, but it was still sent. 3 times from 3 different companies! Medicare and BCBS has paid over $3,000 for this junk. We have had to take the time to send the crap back in one case, but in the others, we were told by the 'companies' that they would send a return label for us to us to return without having to pay for shipping. Still waiting for those labels. Cannot believe that these companies with their street addresses cannot be held accountable for these rip-offs to the tax payers and insurance providers (losses trickle down to customers) creating high insurance costs. They need to be STOPPED now!

Similar to Julcion, I'm getting dozens of calls a week from different numbers saying (robocall) they're "responding to my inquiry about medical braces (I don't need such a thing)." Weird, it's been hot like this for the last few weeks. My "dumb" phone can't directly block these, but I have a little system (sometimes they call multiple times from the same #) - I generate a contact with a special ring tone (can hold multiple phone numbers), that way I know it's the idiots calling again - I pick up and hang up immediately, just in the hope that they pay something per connect.

I am dealing with this currently and I am at a loss of what to do. My phone is now on silent because since yesterday morning at 7am to today at noon I have had over 60 calls from multiple different phone numbers ALL claiming my name is James and that I have recently applied for there insurance plan and they are responding to it! First of all my name is NOT James and am a woman and secondly I have never applied for or looked into a medical insurance plan online. I can't make the calls stop! I am going banana's! My phone is constantly receiving calls on average of every 7-10min now from them and it has interrupted my regular everyday life to handle my personal calls. SO FRUSTRATING! I am considering changing my phone number?

I often get calls regarding Medicare Coverage. I usually start by asking "are you with Medicare". Many times they will speak over me without answering, so I continue to repeat "Are you with Medicare". Most times they hang up.

Received a voice mail stating they had tried to contact me by snail mail, not true. Did not answer the phone deleted the message and blocked the number.

I get several calls a day from a scammer calling like they are representing Medicare. They start to say my Medicare is going to be cut off. I just hang up the phone. Thank you as always for your concerns and helping to stop these scammers.

Medicare call professionally asking that their database needs to be updated with current information and to confirm accuracy of information they have which includes full name, address, and of course phone number then they want to look at your Medicare card to insure that it is correct by telling them all the numbers on it.
O course they hung up after I claimed that I couldn't find the card.

I have received all kinds of offers claiming that Medicare covers back pain materials pain medicine and everything these people are getting annoying

Just received a message telling me my MacOS on my laptop was infected with malicious spyware. I checked the phone number with my iPhone and want to thank you for your good advice.

Been getting calls from someone saying they are calling from Medicare Benefits Dept. They want to know if I have received my new card. I ask them if they know about CMS? They all have foreign accent and they say they don’t know CMS. I tell them they are a scam and not to call me again and hang up.

I get these calls very often. The ones that say they have a shipment ready to deliver asking, "Will I be home tomorrow to sign for it when it arrives?" we should ask, "Where is the delivery coming from?", " What is the doctor's name...and spell it out slowly so I can write it down?" and, "What is the doctor's address?" Try to get as much information as you can from the caller. Then refuse the shipment. This information is important, and it also wastes the caller's time to keep him/her from calling others. Then contact Medicare from their official number printed on their Summary Notices, and report what you have learned. You may also contact ftc.gov to report the information as identity theft. I once actually received a box of "orthotic braces" that I did not order. I called the shipper and received a "Return Shipping Label" weeks later, then sent it back. Meanwhile, I called Medicare to report a fraud. I was told that when I received the Medicare Summary with the fraudulent claims on it (months later), to circle the wrongful claims, make a copy of the form and return it with an Appeal (info on the back of the Summary) with a letter refusing the claim as "possibly fraudulent" and relating my experience. We need to fight back.

I got a priorty envelope in side it contained a company called secret customer and the email and xheck for $1,850.50

I get at least one or two calls from medical scammers every single day. I just got my 9:30 AM back brace scam call on my cell phone that is listed on the useless "Do Not Call" registry. Usually, they spoof the caller ID (which the FCC does not seem to be able to curb in spite of the fact the spoofing a caller ID with intent to defraud is a federal felony). The medical scam calls I get every day fall into three major categories:
1. Robo calls that start with "This is not a sales call, but information you requested about a back brace." I've never requested info about a back brace.
2. Calls from a live agent claiming to be from some official sounding company like the "Medicare Help Center." These are lead generators who want to refer you to a licensed Medicare supplement agent as cold sales calls by these agents usually violate their licensure. Check the disclosure forms you sign at your doctors' offices and medical insurers as they contain boilerplate that allows them to share your information with "affiliates" for marketing purposes. I've stopped signing those forms even though my docs swear they never sell my information.
3. Calls from "Officer Kelly Jones" claiming that my social security number or Medicare number has been implicated in a fraud and unless I call them back, an arrest warrant will be issued and I will be arrested. Google "Office Kelly Jones" and the consumer complaints go back around a decade, which means government agencies have never -- and probably never will -- catch these organized criminals.

I've filed more than 200 complaints with both the FCC and the FTC, but the volume of calls from scammers does not abate. I guess scammers working from a call center in India are above the law these days.

My mom gets calls every day for medical brace. She has a private number. Who allowed for everyone's pers info to be made public online? This is very frustrating

Yeah, I am wondering the same thing!

Multiple calls about Medicare Plus card. What is this? Another scam I think. Phone numbers are never the same either and are not the regular Medicare number. They also keep talking about open enrollment which as far as I'm aware ended in Dec.!

I've been getting robocalls from "Medicare" every day. I know its a scam because I'm years away from qualifying for Medicare. The incoming number changes each time, so I can't block the call. Because of my job and volunteer work, I get legitimate calls from numbers I don't always know, so I can't just hang up. So, I have to let most of those calls go to voicemail now.

I am having the same problem, yesterday alone I received the medicare scam call from 16 different numbers. that is more than my call block will hold. the worst thing is that they know my first name and are trying to get my date of birth. I am so sick of wasting my time worrying about my private information being violated by some piece of trash that is too lazy to get out and earn a living for themselves. And then the people that will work for these thieves are just as bad. Our government needs to get busy and put a stop to all of it. Computers and Internet freedom will put an end to our civilization. It all started with social media.

Received a voice message on phone because was not home at the time saying that my computer was sending out illegal messages and that it was a federal offense and if I did not call them to correct this that a federal warrant would be issued and that I would be arrested within two days. Blocked phone number and reported their 800 number to the federal trade commission.

New scam from Mississippi... left a voicemail saying Medicare card # was frozen due to identity fraud. 601 257 2296

Just received a call from Bianca at 619-566-4650 (caller ID (unavailable). She said she was form Medicare and I had been approved for "hereditary cancer screening." Since I wasn't in the mood to "play" wit her I told her Medicare doesn't call people, that I knew this was a scam, and I would block her number. I redialed the number and got a recording telling me the "number was not in use, good-bye."

419-234-1477 is the phone number of the most recent caller asking to register or sell me Medicare insurance.

I get calls from medicare, if they are from medicare, they know my name and ss#

I get calls from Florida everyday, asking if I want to add more coverage. They use different numbers from Florida. Sometime they use different states’ numbers. I know they’re scammers so I answer in other lsnguage besides English. Sometimes I tell them a make up police department so they hang up.

I get calls from unknown numbers or areas I check the call and dont pick up.It rings 3 times then my ans. machine picks up .Later I check ans mach for any calls and find no calls.Sometimes I just get a phone number I dont call it but try to trace a who is.Most of the time its a false number or dead end,

I'm getting several calls a day regarding upcoming medicare enrollment and options. Some originate overseas I assume from the accents and then connect me to an agent in this country. Some originate here. Always spoof numbers. They try to coax me into a private payer medicare plan. I am on the do not call registry. They argue they are breaking no laws when I point this out. Most recently I was connected to Alfred from Medicare Solutions who provided his phone # 813 498 2006. When I said I would be reporting him he was not concerned.

Every other day I get a call from Grace saying she’s from Medicare. And she asked if I can hear her ok.. she then tries to connect me with an agent concerning hearing aids...Obviously if I can hear here I don’t need a hearing aid...when I try to ask questions she hangs up... how can I report this and to whom... I have her name and #...

Once i recived a call for a person name Jose and he claiming that he is form US Medical and and he calling me to confirm that i'm suffring form back pain and i said yes then he offer me back brace and get all information about me and then after a while i also recived a call from their physician name JOHN MARTIN and he asked few question about my pain and i answered the question he asked then after a day i also recived a call from Dr Office about the braces prescription and the Dr told me that are you applied for brace? i said yes ,then the Dr said that i send you the prescription about the braces approval and you can easly wear it and then braces ship at my door step with in 2 day and i really appriciate them for this kindness <3
And i don't think everyone do scame

I recently received a call during which the caller knew what parts of Medicare I had and informed that they were aware that I had lower back problems. How did he get access to my medical records? I thought my medical history etc was protected by HIPPA . When I insisted upon knowing how the caller had accessed the information, he hung up. Caller ID showed Ronald Rice @ 716-689-2107. (My area code and my exchange)

I just received a call from Ira Research, 352-492-3062, stating that I am to receive a benefit from my medicare. I asked what benefit. They replied, a brace for my joints. They just need some information from me. I said why would I need a brace for my joints when they are not bothering me. Is it so you can charge medicare with this scam? They hung up on me! Please do not ever give any information out over the phone. NO MATTER WHO THEY SAY THEY ARE. IT IS A SCAM! Remember there isn't anything in this world for nothing or no cost to you. Thank you

Got my first Medicare scam call today they asked for my number I lied and said I didn't have Medicare they said we must have the wrong number.

I've gotten no less than 8 'robo calls' now saying, "This is Nancy, your Medicare Patient Advocate..... trying to sell me a back brace.... ends with, Press 1 to talk to someone, press 9 to be taken off our caller list.. in which time Medicare will mark your records inelligible"

they use a CALL NUMBER spoofing device - it's never the same number twice.

There should be a means by which the FTC can find these and FINE them.

Just got another call from “Medicare” asking for my primary doctor’s name. Told her I know she’s not from Medicare so I am not giving any information. She laughed and said “Yes, but we’re here to help Medicare explain to you your benefits.” She said even if I am rejecting the benefits of Medicare, she still needs the name of my Dr to tell him/her that I don’t want any benefits from Medicare .” Well, I just hang up the phone...

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