By: Gema de las Heras
Consumer Education Specialist – Federal Trade Commission
November 4, 2022
If you or one of your loved ones are on Medicare, you’re probably aware that open enrollment ends on December 7. And you’re probably reviewing and comparing different options to select a plan that’s right for you. But as you shop around, know that scammers might take advantage of this period to impersonate Medicare agents.
Scammers may sound professional, say they’re from Medicare, and have your personal details. But in reality, they’re trying to steal your money, Medicare information, or your identity. Here’s how to spot potential scams and what to do:
- Don’t trust the name displayed on your phone. Scammers can fake a caller ID.
- Hang up if anyone calls and asks for your Medicare, Social Security, or bank or credit card information. Legitimate Medicare employees have your Medicare number on file.
- Don’t be rushed into making a decision. You have until December 7 to enroll, and Medicare doesn’t offer extra benefits for signing up early.
- Ignore threats to take away your benefits. If you qualify, your benefits can’t be taken away for not signing up for a plan.
- Don’t talk to anyone that suggests their plan is preferred by Medicare. The truth is that Medicare doesn’t endorse a specific plan.
- Get help to deal with Medicare fraud and abuse at smpresource.org.
- Visit the Eldercare Locator or call toll-free 1-800-677-1116 to find local resources that can give you more information about the different Medicare plans available.
To report someone pretending to be affiliated with Medicare and other Medicare scams, call 1-800-MEDICARE (800-633-4227) and tell the FTC at ReportFraud.ftc.gov.
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The information provided for informational purposes only, and does not constitute an offer, solicitation, or recommendation to sell or an offer to buy securities, investment products or investment advisory services. All information, views, opinions, and estimates are subject to change or correction without notice. Nothing contained herein constitutes financial, legal, tax, or other advice. These opinions may not fit to your financial status, risk, and return preferences.
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