ND SMP Scam of the Month – February 2018

 

Scam Artists Looking to Make Fraud Dollars off of Medicare


ND seniors are receiving harassing phone calls from scam artists. The fraudsters offer seniors “free” durable medical equipment (DME) like back braces, knee braces, TENS units and more, and taxpayers end up footing the bill. The call starts by the fraudster telling you that “you qualify” for a product. As seniors, most of us experience back pain and knee pain so it’s a pretty safe bet that these calls will be on target for many of us.

 

If you have back pain, knee pain or other concerns, talk to your doctor about treatment, don’t fall victim to this scam! SMP programs are making an impact on health care fraud awareness, but we must continue to educate our peers to report fraudulent behavior. Some tips to avoid fraud:

 

Visit your personal doctor and clinic for medical help. Trust them to make the referrals for special equipment and services that you might need.
• If someone calls and tries to threaten or pressure you-hang up.
• If someone comes to your door and says they are from Medicare and asks for your Medicare number-shut the door!
• If someone offers to pay you for your Medicare number-don’t do it!
• Never provide a salesperson with your doctor’s name or phone number.
• Never show anyone your medical records without first talking to you doctor.
• Don’t leave mail in your mailbox for more than one day. People can steal personal information right out of your mailbox.
• Shred Medicare papers and other important financial documents before discarding. People go through trash.
• REMEMBER, Medicare DOES NOT sell anything!
• Always read your Medicare Summary Notice (MSN) or your Explanation of Benefits (EOB). These will be stamped “This is Not a Bill” that comes to you after you get any kind of medical care.

 

 

The information provided is intended to be a general summary only. Source of information: Moore, N. (2018, January 5). News from Generations Area 13 Agency on Aging and Disability. Washing Times Herald.

 

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/

 

The information provided is intended to be a general summary only. Source of information: AARP/Medicare Open Enrollment Scams 2014.

 

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

 

  •       Contact the ND Attorney General Consumer Protection offie at 1-800-472-2600.
  •       Call the ND SMP Office if you have questions about Medicare fraud.

 

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.

 


The information provided is intended to be a general summary only. Source of information: CMS Webinar: New Medicare Card, September 18, 2017 https://www.cms.gov/newcard

 

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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.