Scammers are calling people on Medicare and falsely claiming Medicare is replacing the paper Medicare cards with plastic ones that include chips, according to the Washington Office of the Insurance Commissioner.
Medicare is not replacing the paper cards, a Statewide Health Insurance Benefits Advisors (SHIBA) news release warns. And Medicare will never call beneficiaries to sell anything or make a home visit, they say.
You receive an unexpected call from someone claiming to work for Medicare. Actual employees will never call you without being invited to do so — for example, if you left a message at Medicare’s customer service line (800-633-4227).
The caller claims you need to pay a fee to get a new or upgraded Medicare card,
Someone threatens to cancel your Medicare coverage unless you provide personal information over the phone.
You get a bill from a hospital or medical provider for care that you didn’t receive.
Do hang up immediately if you get an unsolicited call from someone who claims to be from Medicare and asks for personal information.
Do give your Medicare number only to trusted providers of your health care and coverage, such as doctors, pharmacists, insurers and state health agencies that work with Medicare.
Don’t share your Medicare or Social Security number (or other personal information) with anyone who contacts you out of the blue by phone, text or email or shows up unannounced at your door.
Don’t send or give your Medicare card to anyone.
Don’t believe a caller is a Medicare employee simply because he or she knows some information about you. Scammers will have done their homework.