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Keep an eye out for Medicare card scams this summer
June 25, 2018
As new Medicare cards start to hit mailboxes across the country, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is warning seniors of an uptick in Medicare card scams. These scams are aimed at coercing beneficiaries into sharing personal information, like their Social Security number, bank account information, or credit card number.
Michigan beneficiaries will be among the last to receive their new cards, which are scheduled to mail sometime after June 2018 and before April 2019. During this time period, it's especially important to make sure your clients know how to identify potential scams and protect their personal information.
Here are a few tips to help Medicare clients combat fraud and keep personal information safe:
· Medicare will never call you unsolicited and ask for personal or private information.
· You do not have to pay for your new card. New Medicare cards are provided to members for free. If you are contacted about paying for your new Medicare card, it's a scam.
· Do not give out personal information to get your card. Medicare will never ask you for your personal information to get your new number and card. If someone claiming to be from Medicare calls you, asking for your Social Security number or bank information, it's a scam.
· You do not need to "activate" your new Medicare card. Do not provide personal information or payment to "activate" your new Medicare card. Your new card does not need to be activated and can be used as soon as you get it in the mail.
· Destroy your old card. To prevent identify theft, destroy your old Medicare card as soon as you receive your new one.
· Guard your new card. Do not provide your new card number, or any other personal information, to anyone who calls you unsolicited.
If you experience an attempted scam, report it to Medicare by calling 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227).
Are you between the ages of 62 and 65 and have questions about your Medicare options? Register today for our Medicare informational meeting on Tuesday, July 24, 2018, at 6 pm, and let us help you make the best choice for your needs. Rsvp to 616-233-9050. The meeting will be held at Thornapple Insurance Agency, 6095 28th St SE, Suite A2, Grand Rapids, MI 49546.