There’s a sneaky new scam targeting Medicare card holders, according to a special alert from AARP’s Fraud Watch Network.
The organization warns that Medicare beneficiaries have been receiving calls from scammers claiming to be from Medicare — and the only thing these con artists are after is your money!
If you have Medicare, don’t fall for this scam
The fraudsters are asking potential victims for payment to receive their new Medicare card or asking them to verify their Medicare number, which is the same as their Social Security number.
So when you think about it, the scammers are going after people in two ways:
- First, they’re asking for payment information, such as a credit card or bank account number, which could be used to empty your bank account, including all of your savings.
- Second, they could use your Medicare number (same as your SSN) to steal your identity.
Due to the rise of identity theft, Congress passed a law in 2015 requiring that Social Security numbers be removed from Medicare cards, but new cards with randomly assigned characters won’t start showing up in mailboxes until April 2018.
How to protect yourself
In the meantime, there are two things anyone with a Medicare card should know to avoid being scammed:
- Medicare will never call you to verify your number.
- There’s no cost to get your new card.
Bottom line: If you get a call like this, or any message that you suspect is a scam, hang up immediately and report it to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) online.