Avoiding Scams Associated with New Medicare Cards

By Catherine Haug, May 23, 2018

As you’ve probably observed, scams seem to be the norm these days, and we need to stay sharp to avoid them. The latest scams exploit the new replacement Medicare Cards. Since many of ESP’s subscribers are Seniors, I thought sharing this info would be helpful.

The old/current cards use a version of your social security number, and scammers use that number to pretend to be you. So the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is creating new numbers for Medicare recipient, rather than using their SS number, to reduce exposure of your number to scammers.

But as you might have expected, scammers have already found ways to take advantage of this. Read on for information on what you need to know/do to avoid becoming a victim, and what to do if you suspect you have been victimized in this regard.

Avoiding new Medicare Card scams

The following is from United Health Care, the carrier of my AARP Medicare Supplement insurance. You can also learn more about the new Medicare card by visiting the CMS website, or beginsat50.com.

  1. No action is needed [to receive your new card]. New Medicare cards will be mailed automatically to the address that CMS has on file, between April 2018 and April 2019, so be patient.
  2. A temporary card is not needed. Medicare beneficiaries can continue to use their existing card until they receive a new one. [Scammers may request you send money, or give them your personal information – such as your Social Security Number – for a temporary card].
  3. CMS does not charge for Medicare cards.
  4. Medicare will not call. Be suspicious of anyone calling about the new Medicare card. [Medicare only contacts you via the US Postal Service – snail mail. However, if you contact them via their website, they may respond via email or phone.]
  5. In general, it is never a good idea to give personal information like Social Security number, Medicare number or credit card number over the phone if you are not 100% certain to whom you’re talking, and how it will be used.

What to do if you’ve already been a victim

As in cases of all forms of fraud, the first thing you should do is contact your local police or sheriff’s office. In the Flathead area, the pertinent phone numbers are:

  • County Sheriff:
  • Flathead Co. Sheriff’s Main number: (406) 758-5585 or Dispatch (406) 758-5610
  • Lake Co. Sheriff (406) 883-7301
  • Lincoln Co. Sheriff: Non-Emergency Dispatch (406) 293-4112 ext.0 or
    (406) 293-4113 ext.0;

    • Eureka deputy sheriff: (406) 297-2121;
    • Troy deputy sheriff: (406) 295-4111
  • Police (Non-emergency numbers)
  • Columbia Falls Police: (406) 892-3234
  • Kalispell Police: (406) 758-7780
  • Libby Police: (406) 293-3343, or call Lincoln Co Sheriff (406) 293-4112
  • Polson Police: (406) 883-8200
  • Whitefish Police: (406) 863-2420

If the one you are looking for isn’t listed above, check out these websites:

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