ND SMP Scam of the Month – August 2018

 

Avoid Medicare Scams


If you’re one of 100,600 Medicare beneficiaries in North Dakota, then you’ve likely received your new card with a unique number. The change to your identification number will help prevent identity theft, keep scammers from using benefits illegally and protect tax dollars, but there are other steps you should take to protect your personal information. Senior Medicare Patrol details a common scam where a caller will indicate that you require a new card or will tell you that you are owed money from Medicare under your old card number. The scammer may threaten you with the loss of benefits if you don’t provide your personal information, Medicare number or bank account number. It’s important to remember that:

 

 

Remember to mark your calendar and watch for sites for the free annual Part D Open Enrollment event October 15 through December 7.

 

Be aware: this is an election year for Senate representatives and some of you may have seen or heard the acronym SMP used in some of the ads. The SMP referred to in the ads stands for Senate Majority PAC (Political Action Committee) and does not refer to the National Senior Medicare Patrol program.

 

The information provided is intended to be a general summary only. Source of information: U.S. Department of Health & Human Services and Senior Medicare Patrol. State Health Care Facts Data (2016). Kaiser Family Foundation.

 

Contact the Consumer Protection Division at the ND Attorney General’s Office at 1-800-472-2600 if you think you have been scammed.

 

What can you do?

 

Keep your personal numbers (Medicare, Social Security, and bank account numbers) PERSONAL.

 

Call the ND SMP office if you have questions about Medicare fraud or you think you may have given out your number to an MSN or EOB to their bill. It has come to our attention that there may be some offices imposter.

 

The National Do Not Call Registry allows you to register your home or cell phone for free. Your registration will be effective for five years. Telemarketers should not call your number once it has been on the registry for 31 days. If they do, you can file a complaint at https://www.donotcall.gov/

 

 

What to do if you responded to one of these marketing ploys?

 

Here’s what to do if you get a suspicious call:

  •      • Don’t give out any personal information.
  •      • Simply hang up the phone—or better yet, if you don’t recognize the telephone number, don’t answer it at all.
  •      • Report the call to the ND Attorney General Consumer Protection office at 1-800-472-2600.
  •      • Report your experience to 1-877-FTC-HELP or ftc.gov/complaint.
    •           - Click on “Scams and Rip-offs” and then “Imposter Scams”.
  •      • Call the ND SMP office if you have questions about Medicare fraud or you think you may have given out your number to an imposter.

 

Scammers are very creative people, possibly secondary only to computer hackers! What can
you do to prevent being a victim of health care fraud?

 

What can you do to protect yourself from fraud?
 Keep your personal and financial information private.

 Keep your personal numbers (Medicare, Social Security, and bank account numbers) PERSONAL.
 Contact the ND Attorney General Consumer Protection office at 1-800-472-2600.
 Call the ND SMP office if you have questions about Medicare fraud.

 


This project was supported, in part, by grant number 90MP0217, from the Administration for Community Living, Department of Health and Human Services. Points of view or opinions do not necessarily represent official Administration for Community Living policy.

 

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To report a potential scam or if you have been the victim of a scam, call the ND Senior Medicare Patrol (SMP). ND SMP is a free service which provides one-on-one assistance with Medicare fraud and scams. Call 1-800-233-1737 for assistance or go to www.ndcpd.org/smp.