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New Medicare cards create a new opportunity for scammers

Medicare website photo

Those new and more secure Medicare cards are hitting mail boxes across Washington. I just got mine (I know, I look too young to be on Medicare).

The new cards have a new number – a series of 11 random letters and numbers – not your Social Security number, as in the past.

It's a long overdue change designed to increase security and prevent identity theft.

"Now you can carry your Medicare card with you and not worry about carrying your Social Security number with you, but you should still be careful with that number and make sure that you only give it to people who need it, such as your doctor,” said Eva Velasquez, president of the Identity Theft Resource Center.

Velasquez says criminals know the new cards are going out.

"These scammers are going to be contacting you in order to get you to read off that number or give out other personally identifying information about yourself,” she told me.

Don't do it. No government agency will ever call, email or text, asking for your personal information. Never.

"Really be wary of anybody that reaches out to you by phone or email. If someone calls you saying they're from Medicare, you just go ahead and hang up the phone and you call Medicare back at their 800-number,” Velasquez said.

More Info: New Medicare Cards Won't Have SSNs

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