Beware of Medicare Scams – Scammers Taking Advantage of COVID-19 Pandemic
Scammers are taking advantage of the COVID-19 pandemic and have taken to targeting the elderly and those with serious health conditions, who potentially have a higher risk of serious illness due to COVID-19.
Criminals use tactics such as email, texts, social media, and phone calls to con innocent people out of their money. These scammers have become experts in following news headlines to change their tactics to follow current events. Currently, there is an influx of scammers using the COVID-19 Pandemic as leverage to facilitate their scams.
An example of this would be a bogus call alerting someone of a cash prize after being entered into a lottery when they received their COVID-19 vaccination. If a caller is asking you for personal or financial information, this is a red flag. Additionally, if a caller is asking you for your Medicare number, this is a huge red flag. Only provide this number to your health care provider or trusted representative. Scammers are now attempting to bill Medicare for tests/treatments related to coronavirus. If they obtain your personal information, including your Medicare number, they could be successful in doing so.
According to the AARP, as of August 21, 2021, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) logged close to 581,000 consumer complaints related to COVID-19 and stimulus payments.
Some Signs of a COVID-19 Scam
- Any request for payment to receive a vaccine or antibody test
- Any request for payment to be placed on a vaccine waiting list
- Any offer selling a product that claims to cure COVID-19
- Any request for your Medicare number from anyone other than your doctor or healthcare provider
- Ads on websites or social media regarding vaccines or antibody tests
- Phone calls or emails in regards to the sale of in-demand supplies such as cleaning supplies, test kits, or face masks.
- Emails asking you to click on a link to make a payment or confirm personal information
- Calls or emails from supposed banks or lenders offering loans to help you pay bills in an effort to relieve financial hardship associated with the COVID-19 Pandemic
Reporting a Potential Medicare Scam
Do you believe you were targeted in a Medicare scam? If so, you can report it by calling 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227). You can find a list of information to have ready before calling here: https://www.medicare.gov/forms-help-resources/help-fight-medicare-fraud/how-report-medicare-fraud.
Questions Regarding Elder Law?
The Mattar Firm’s skilled team of elder law attorneys are experienced in many areas of elder law, including non-crisis Medicaid planning, crisis Medicaid planning, long-term care planning, estate planning, and asset protection. Call (844) 444-4444 or (239) 222-2222 today to schedule your free consultation.