In a Medicare Card Scam, fraudsters contact beneficiaries claiming to represent Medicare, stating that the beneficiary needs a new Medicare card. Fraudsters ask for personal information and may threaten beneficiaries with the loss of Medicare benefits if they don’t comply. Beneficiaries are asked for their Medicare number and bank account number; sometimes in exchange for gifts or money. In other examples, beneficiaries are told that they have to pay for a new Medicare card.
Protect yourself from these scams. Do not respond to requests over the phone asking you to verify personal information. Medicare already has your personal information. Medicare will never call you.
- Medicare will not call beneficiaries to offer a new card or to request information in order to issue a new card.
- Medicare beneficiaries receive a Medicare number and card automatically upon enrollment, at no cost.
- Medicare cards do not expire.
- Beneficiaries who lose their Medicare card can request a new one from the Social Security Administration.
Starting April 2018, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) will begin issuing and mailing new Medicare cards, to replace previous cards with social security numbers.
This is referred to as the Social Security Number Removal Initiative (SSNRI).
Protect yourself from Medicare card scams. If you receive a suspicious call or e-mail:
- Let the caller leave a message– do not answer the call.
- If you take a call, do not provide any personal information. Call Medicare immediately at (800) 633-4227.
- CMS will be working through a lengthy transition period from April 1, 2018– December 31, 2019 to sort through problems with this initiative.
Report any suspicions of fraud to:
- Medicare: 1-800-633-4227 or www.mymedicare.gov.
- Office of the Inspector General: (800) 447-8477 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Senior Medicare Patrol: www.smpresource.org.
If you are interested in learning more about how to protect yourself from Medicare scams, speak with a Community Resource Specialist of Sourcewise: (408) 350-3200, option 1.