Give your Medicare Number to your doctor, hospital, or other Medicare provider…no one else.
By News Desk
Never give your Medicare Number in exchange for free medical equipment or any other free offer. Dishonest providers will use your numbers to get payment for services they never delivered.
Experts caution people of all ages – especially older adults – to be wary of anything that seems too good to be true.
- Be cautious of any testing site that requires your financial or medical information in order to receive a free test.
- Be cautious of survey scams. Do not give your personal, medical, or financial information to anyone claiming to offer money or gifts in exchange for your participation in a survey.
- Be mindful of how you dispose of materials such as vial container boxes, vaccination record cards, and shipment or tracking records. Improper disposal of these items could be used by bad actors to commit fraud.
- Beneficiaries should be cautious of unsolicited requests for their personal, medical, and financial information. Medicare will not call beneficiaries to offer products, services, or benefits review.
- Be suspicious of any unexpected calls or visitors offering tests or supplies. If you receive a suspicious call, hang up immediately.
- Do not respond to, or open links in, text messages from unknown individuals.
Protect your information! Do not give your personal or financial information to:
- Anyone claiming to offer HHS grants related to vaccines.
- Anyone who asks for money, especially if they ask for credit card and bank information, or for prepaid debit cards or gift cards to be sent to them or dropped off at a certain location.
- Scammers who arrive at people’s doors claiming they have an official order to test at that location for a fee.
- Offers for cures in exchange for personal information or money in any form.
- Phone calls, text messages, or emails from strangers urging older adults to invest in hot new stocks related to vaccines and cures.
- Emails with “Immediate Action” in the subject line or the body.
- Web links, videos, or downloadable files included with unsolicited emails, text messages, or social media messaging, even if it looks like the message is from a company or person an older adult recognizes. (Never click on links, videos, or files you didn’t request.)
A person should report scams to the nearest law enforcement agency.
Dr. Laura Mosqueda, dean of the USC Keck School of Medicine and director of the National Center for Elder Abuse, says: “It’s not that older adults aren’t intelligent…Many older adults feel lonesome for any form of human contact, especially if they live alone, and are particularly vulnerable to fall for scams.”
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