ND SMP Scam of the Month – April 2019

 


Top Frauds in North Dakota

 

Diabetic Testing Supplies

Fraudsters plotting to defraud Medicare are targeting people with diabetes. The methods of fraud may vary, but the caller usually pretends to be from “medicare’ or a diabetes association offering “free” diabetic supplies. A claim for the “free” supplies will be submitted to Medicare and to the Medigap policy. These calls are a SCAM!

 

Genetic/DNA Testing

Genetic testing companies are calling and telling beneficiaries that Medicare wants all beneficiaries to have DNA testing for cancer research and stating that the test is totally free to the beneficiary. The company sends a testing kit with instructions to swab their cheek and mail the sample back in the prepaid mailer and to sign an enclosed card giving the company permission for the testing. The card the beneficiary signs authorizes the digital transfer of that signature to “any” forms that relate to specific tests ordered as a supplement to the original request. For genetic testing to be reimbursed by Medicare or other insurance companies, there must be proof of medical necessity from the beneficiary’s medical provider. Beneficiaries have been strapped with huge bills when the insurance doesn’t pay because the claim is deemed “not medically necessary.” This is a Scam!

 

Back and Knee Braces

Beneficiaries are receiving phone calls with the Caller ID showing as the actual “Medicare number.” They are being told that Medicare is sending out back, neck, or knee braces and these are “free,” and the caller asks for their Medicare number. A beneficiary that ND SMP has been working with was mailed the braces which she promptly refused to accept, however, Medicare was already billed $1221.19 of which the beneficiary is responsible for $208.21.

 

New Medicare Numbers

Beneficiaries are still receiving calls from fraudsters asking the beneficiary to verify their new Medicare number or to activate the card they must verify the new number. Remember, Medicare will NEVER call a beneficiary and ask them to verify their Medicare number or ask them for their Medicare number. These types of calls are SCAMS!

 

These calls are a SCAM! If you receive a call like this, SMP recommends the following:

 

If you suspect you’ve been a victim of a scam, don’t be afraid or embarrassed to talk about it with someone you trust. You are not alone. Keep phone numbers and resources close by, including the local police and your bank.

 

The information provided is intended to be a general summary only. Source of information: CMS. Partners in Integrity. November 2018. Georgia SMP. Medicare Fraud. February 2019. Be Aware of Genetic Testing Lures. ND SMP. March 2019.

 

 

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.

 

This project was supported, in part, by grant number 90MPPG0021, 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. Like us on Facebook: North Dakota Senior