Medicare warning: Watch out for scammers claiming to help with new Medicare cards
If you're eligible for Medicare, you'll finally be getting a new Medicare card that's not plastered with your Social Security Number, like the current version.
But since scammers know it's happening, they're posing as government workers and claiming to help with the card replacement.
Yvonne Zaske says she feels vunlerable carrying a Medicare card that displays her social security number.
"Well, to me it just speaks to the fact that it's such an archaic system," she said.
She welcomes the new, more secure Medicare cards that use a unique numerical identifier tied to you, instead of your SSN. But Zaske's concerned to learn that scammers are posing as medicare workers. She's been following the alerts and red flags.
"Medicare will never contact you by email, text, or a phone call," said Zaske. "You will not ever be charged, so anybody soliciting money to expedite the card for you to get it faster- that's a scam" Zaske continued.
The AARP Fraud Watch Network offers this warning:
"One of the scams that we're hearing about recently, people are receiving phone calls from someone claiming to be from Medicare saying that they have a refund on their old card," AARP's Amy Nofziger explained. "That too, is a scam."
The scams are likely to continue for the next year- since Medicare is mailing the new cards in phases- through April of 2019.
According to the mailing schedule posted on the Medicare website, the new cards for people in the state of Washington start being mailed in June.
In the meantime she's guarding her current card information more than ever- to avoid getting tricked.
"I wouldn't fall for it personally," said Zaske. "But I think there are people vulnerable and so trusting, they would!"
If you carry your original Medicare card in your wallet or handbag, stop.
AARP says take a photocopy of your card, reduce the copy to wallet size, then cut out the last 4 letters of your social security number in the photocopy.
Carry that with you, instead. You can always provide those last 4 digits, and most healthcare providers you deal with should already have your Medicare information on file.