As we have heard, Medicare fraud is rampant. However, it may not be the senior citizens who are defrauding the system, but criminal scammers. Recently, consumer affairs have issued a phone scam alert that has hit many states throughout the U.S.
Here is how it works: Seniors who are receiving Medicare get a phone call from a fraudulent phone number – 866-234-2255. The people calling claim to be with a “National Medical Office” or “Medicare National Office.” The caller tells the person that they are getting a new Medicare card and will be charged a one-time fee for Medicare premiums or prescription drug plan. Then the caller asks for banking information or a credit card number. These criminals are very insistent and if you complain or want verification, they threaten to cancel your Medicare. Of course, this is a phone scam. These thieves want to steal your identity.
Another phone scam comes from a phone call from a Durable Medical Equipment company that provides medical supplies such as a wheelchair or walker. DME suppliers are not allowed to “cold call” consumers to get orders for supplies. However, the caller says that they want to take an order over the phone and of course needs your Medicare information. Once again, this is a phone scam to either steal your identity or defraud Medicare.
The only time someone from Medicare will call you is when he or she are taking a survey about benefits. No one from Medicare will ask you for your Medicare number or banking information.
If you find yourself in this type of situation, try to get as much information about the caller and the company including a telephone number. Hang up and report the call to your local Stop Medicare Fraud Program in your state.