Although millions of people 65 or older will soon receive new Medicare cards to prevent identity theft, fraudsters are exploiting the nationwide rollout to attempt to convince seniors to reveal personal information.
The new Medicare cards will not feature Social Security numbers, but will identify individuals with an 11-character combination of numbers and letters. Distribution of the new cards began in April, and will be sent to 58 million Medicare recipients across the nation.
According to the Coalition Against Insurance Fraud, scammers are cold calling seniors regarding the new cards in an effort to steal Social Security numbers, bank account numbers and credit card information.
Your #NewMedicareCard will automatically come to you. You don’t need to do anything as long as your address is up-to-date. If you need to update your address, log in to your my Social Security account or visit your local @SocialSecurity office. https://t.co/O23UIZMwPK pic.twitter.com/M8wouMUdSZ
— Medicare.gov (@MedicareGov) April 4, 2018
“They’re sneaky. Very sneaky,” Virginia Baize, of Muncie, Ind., told WTHR-TV last week.
Baize and her husband have noticed an increase in phone solicitations from scammers posing as telemarketers, although they have not yet received their new Medicare cards.
Nancy Moore, Indiana’s Senior Medicare Patrol program director, said that phishing scams targeting seniors are on the rise because scammers are desperately trying to convince seniors to divulge their Social Security numbers before those numbers disappear from Medicare cards.
“It’s happening nationwide and it’s happening in Indiana,” Moore said. “People need to know Medicare won’t call you. They only operate via U.S. mail, but the scammers are very persistent. If they call you, just hang up. Don’t give out any personal information. They’re just really after your Social Security number.”
NEW BLOG: Want to know when new cards start mailing to your area? Visit https://t.co/cYBiXvYMWy and sign up to get email alerts from #Medicare. #NewMedicareCard https://t.co/XnJksxwD2n pic.twitter.com/r1W6z8xRBi
— Medicare.gov (@MedicareGov) April 2, 2018
If you would like to receive Breaking News text alerts on a smartphone or tablet, download the DML APP which is completely FREE and easy to use. Go to the Google Play Store or the IOS App Store and search for DML APP. Be sure to keep the app’s notifications setting on. Another way to receive alerts is to text to 40404 the following message: follow @realdennislynch (be sure to put a space between the word follow and the @ symbol).
To see more stories like this, sign up below for Dennis Michael Lynch’s email newsletter.
Sign up to get breaking news alerts from Dennis Michael Lynch.
Muslim man charged with throwing rocks at two women