Beginning in June Medicare will begin mailing new cards to everyone who gets Medicare benefits. Instead of having your Social Security number on the card, the new cards will have a unique Medicare number. Cards will be mailed to the address you have on file with the Social Security Administration. This will happen automatically and you don’t need to do anything or pay anyone to get your new card.
While Medicare cards are undergoing this big change to make them more secure, scammers are (of course!) taking advantage of confusion around the launch.
How the Scam Works
You receive a call from a person claiming to work with Medicare. The scammer claims that there’s a problem with your new card. The con artist may say your new card was lost or someone tried to use your ID number. To resolve the situation, the scammer says she needs your Social Security number.
In another version, the scammer claims you must pay money to receive your new Medicare card. He may ask you for payment information, so he can “complete the process” for you. He may even ask you to mail him your old card.
How to Avoid Medicare Scams
- Know how the Medicare card switch works.Understand that Medicare isn’t calling consumers about the card switch. Also, the new Medicare cards are being provided free of charge.
- Never provide personal information to a stranger.Don’t share personal details with anyone who calls you unsolicited. Do not confirm or give out your full name, address, Social Security number or any other personal information.
Read more about the new cards and their security benefits on Medicare.gov.
If you’ve fallen victim to this type of scam, you can help others avoid being scammed by filing a report at BBB.org/ScamTracker.