Columbus, OH (May 1, 2018) – After undergoing a big change to make them more secure, Medicare cards started to be mailed to recipients at the end of April. While those who qualify wait to receive their cards, BBB wants locals to beware of scammers taking advantage of the launch.
Medicare rolled out new cards in April 2018 and will continue mailing them through April 2019. These new cards will be more secure because they use a “Medicare Beneficiary Identifier” instead of a Social Security number. The delivery of the new cards is staggered, so you will receive your card at a different time than your friends or neighbors.
How the Scam Works:
You receive a call from a person claiming to work with Medicare. They are allegedly calling about a problem with your new Medicare 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 just needs your Social Security number.
In another version, the scammer claims you must pay money to receive your new Medicare card. They may ask you for payment information, so they can “complete the process” for you. They may even ask you to mail them your old card.
The FTC and BBB offer these tips:
Don’t pay for your new card. It’s yours for free. If anyone calls and says you need to pay for it, that’s a scam.
Don’t give personal information to get your card. If someone calls claiming to be from Medicare, asking for your Social Security number or bank information, that’s a scam. Hang up. Medicare will never ask you to give personal information to get your new number and card.
Guard your card. When you get your new card, safeguard it like you would any other health insurance or credit card. While removing the Social Security number cuts down on many types of identity theft, you’ll still want to protect your new card because identity thieves could use it to get medical services.
Consumers are encouraged to report scams to BBB Scam Tracker to help protect others in the Central Ohio community.
You can read more about the new cards and their security benefits at Medicare.gov.
For more than 100 years, Better Business Bureau has been helping people find businesses, brands and charities they can trust. In 2017, people turned to BBB more than 160 million times for BBB Business Profiles on more than 5.2 million businesses and Charity Reports on 11,000 charities, all available for free at bbb.org. There are local, independent BBBs across the United States, Canada and Mexico, including BBB Serving Central Ohio, which was founded in 1921 and serves 21 counties in Central Ohio.