Sirens Going Off: How to Avoid Getting Duped by Medicare Scammers During Open Enrollment


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You’ve probably heard of Medicare scams, but it may be difficult to know how to spot them and what to do if you think you’ve been scammed. Take these steps to protect yourself from Medicare scammers during open enrollment, when Medicare beneficiaries are required to sign up again for coverage and when scammers tend to be most active. If the sirens in your head are going off, chances are you’re being targeted by a Medicare scammer, and it’s time to call the police.

You may be aware that Medicare open enrollment is now underway.

So do con artists.

The Federal Trade Commission is issuing a warning that scammers may use this yearly window to pose as Medicare officials. Medicare beneficiaries can modify their coverage during the program’s open enrollment, which began on October 15 and goes through December 7. Criminals frequently attempt to take advantage of this by making obtrusive calls.

Ari Parker, a senior adviser at Chapter, a Medicare advice company, stated, “Sirens should go off if someone asks for your Medicare identity number. The same goes for your Social Security number and bank account details.

In general, no one is authorised to contact you – uninvited — through phone or email to inquire about your coverage. Agents you already work with or who signed you up for your existing plan are obviously not included in this.

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) advise beneficiaries to assess their existing coverage during open enrollment to ensure that it will continue to be the best option for them in the upcoming year. Part D (prescription drug coverage) and Advantage Plans, which include Part A (hospital coverage), Part B (outpatient care), and often include

Elder fraud is still a problem; according to a recent FTC study, in 2021, older individuals lost $121 million to con artists acting as government officials and another $151 million to con artists posing as workers of private companies. 56.6 million of the 64.5 million Medicare recipients are 65 years of age or older.

Criminals have the ability to use a wide net to capture victims. Emails and phone calls can even have the appearance of being from a reliable source.

Spoof websites can lure you in
An email pushing you to click on a link that looks to be connected to your Medicare plan, for instance, could arrive.

Some con artists create fake websites, according to Parker. Your information is given to the fraudster, who might be located anywhere in the globe.

According to the FTC, the aim of the con artists is to obtain enough personal data – they may already have some of it — to conduct fraud using your Medicare ID, steal your money, or even steal your identity.

Here are some advice from the FTC on how to prevent being duped:

Be mindful that con artists can spoof caller ID.
If a caller requests your Medicare, Social Security, bank, or credit card information, hang up. Your Medicare number is on file with authorised Medicare personnel.
Don’t hurry into choosing a course of action. The deadline to enrol in Medicare is December 7; Medicare does not provide additional benefits for early enrollment.
Neglect any threats to terminate your benefits. Benefits that you are eligible for cannot be terminated because you chose not to enrol in a plan.
Never engage in conversation with someone who claims that Medicare prefers their plan. The show doesn’t support any certain strategy.


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