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Medicare 101: How Seniors Can Avoid Medicare Scam Calls

3 mins read
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Medicare scams are a significant concern, particularly those targeting seniors during key moments such as enrollment periods. These scams aim to manipulate beneficiaries into revealing sensitive personal information or coercing them into making unwarranted payments.

The consequences of falling prey to such scams can be devastating, affecting both financial health and emotional well-being.

At CoverRight, we stand firm in our commitment to honesty and transparency by ensuring our clients have access to accurate and reliable information, free from the influence of scam calls and fraudulent practices.

In this article, we explain how you can identify and protect yourself against Medicare scam calls, explore the typical signs of such scams, and find effective strategies to safeguard your information.

How Can I Identify a Medicare Scam Call?

Scammers frequently target Medicare beneficiaries during periods when seniors are most engaged with their healthcare choices. 

Common Times for Scam Calls

These are the times Medicare scammers are most likely to target you: 

  • Initial Eligibility: As individuals approach their 65th birthday, they enter a phase where they first become eligible for Medicare. During this period, it’s common for seniors to receive an influx of calls as their details appear on lead lists used by telemarketers.

These lists, which often include names, phone numbers, and ages, circulate among vendors in the Medicare industry, making it easy for scammers to time their calls precisely.

  • Open Enrollment Period: Running from October 15 to December 7, this enrollment period allows those with Original Medicare to adjust their coverage. Beneficiaries can join, drop, or switch Medicare Part C (Medicare Advantage) and/or Medicare Part D plans.

Scammers capitalize on this window with a surge in call center activity aimed at selling specific Medicare plans. The high volume of outbound calls during this time is a tactic used to overwhelm and confuse potential targets, making it easier to press them into making hasty decisions.

Common Themes of Scam Calls

Here are some of the most common Medicare scams.

  • Request for Sensitive Information: One of the primary tactics of scammers is to ask for your Social Security Number (SSN) or Medicare ID under the guise of verifying your identity or updating records.

It’s crucial to remember that legitimate Medicare representatives will never initiate a call to ask for sensitive personal information over the phone.

  • Senior Benefits Calls: Be wary of calls promising free services, rewards, senior benefits, or discounts in exchange for personal information or a small ‘processing fee’.

These offers are often too good to be true and are a tactic to lure you into sharing financial or personal details.

  • Medical Equipment Scams: A classic example is the ‘back brace’ scam, where callers claim you’re entitled to free medical equipment like back braces through Medicare.

These scammers often attempt to bill Medicare fraudulently on your behalf for equipment you do not need.

How Can I Avoid These Calls?

An effective measure to protect yourself from unwanted Medicare scam calls is to register with the National Do Not Call Registry. By adding your number to this registry, you can significantly reduce the volume of unsolicited calls, including telemarketing and potential scam attempts.

For those wondering, ‘Is donotcall.gov legit?’, the answer is yes! It is an official government site managed by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and designed to help consumers block unwanted calls.

Please note, however, that while this step helps decrease general telemarketing calls, it may not fully stop all fraudulent callers who often ignore such regulations.

Combining this registration with additional precautions can enhance your protection:

  • Verify Caller Identity: Always verify the identity of callers by hanging up and contacting the official number of the entity they claim to represent.
  • Guard Personal Information: Be cautious about sharing personal information, especially sensitive details like your Social Security number.
  • Educate Yourself on Scam Tactics: Staying informed about common scam tactics helps you recognize and avoid potential traps.

Navigating the complexities of Medicare and avoiding scam calls can be daunting, but you don’t have to do it alone. CoverRight is here to provide you with clear and credible guidance on how to protect yourself from these fraudulent activities.

Connect with our experts today for personalized assistance and to learn more about safeguarding your Medicare benefits.

FAQ

Does Medicare call you at home?

It’s important to know that Medicare does not typically initiate calls to beneficiaries to request personal information. If you receive unsolicited healthcare benefits calls claiming to be from Medicare, they are likely a scam.

What should I do if I receive a suspicious Medicare call?

If you suspect a call is a scam, hang up immediately. Do not provide any personal information. Report the incident to the Medicare fraud hotline at 1-800-HHS-TIPS (1-800-447-8477).

Can scam calls still reach me even if I’m on the Do Not Call Registry?

Yes, some scammers disregard the registry. Always remain cautious and never share personal information over the phone unless you initiate the call to a verified number.

Connor Wilson

Connor is a Content Writer at CoverRight focused on editing and publishing Medicare and health insurance-related information. He also serves the team as a Business Operations Lead, working to expand the business and enhance its strategy. Prior to joining CoverRight, Connor was able to hone his knowledge of the financial services industry through his work in investment banking. Additionally, he is a self-published author of a mystery novel.

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