Don't fall for Medicare scams

You get a call and the person on the line claims to be with Medicare.

They want to send you a new Medicare card or to make sure you don't lose your benefits under health care reform.

But first, they need some personal information. Maybe they want your bank account number for direct deposit. Or maybe they ask for your Medicare number - which is your Social Security number - to verify your identity.

So what do you do?

"Hang up the phone," Adam Levin, chairman of Identity Theft 911, says.

"Anytime you receive a phone call from anyone representing themselves to be with a government agency asking you for personal identifying information, do not provide that information," Levin continues.

If you're not sure what's happening, look up the main number for that agency and call them yourself.

"Only if you're in control of the phone call, if you've made the phone call, should you be providing that information," says Levin.

If an identity thief tricks you into giving them your Social Security or Medicare number, they can do all sorts of nasty things with it. And once you give it out, you can't take it back.

More Info:

Federal Trade Commission: Senior Identity Theft

AARP: 6 Common Medicare Scams