BBB: Take precautions with new Medicare cards

Posted at 9:50 AM, Jul 09, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-09 12:04:28-04

The new Medicare cards are slowly being released across Idaho. While steps have been made to ensure the cards are safer for users, the Better Business Bureau warns that scammers will be working to find new ways to scam recipients.

The new cards will no longer list the user's Social Security number, meaning the chance of identity theft has gone down significantly. However, BBB is still worried about several types of scams.

"Look out for phone calls from someone saying they are with the Medicare office. One thing scammers may try to do is convince recipients they have to pay a fee to get their new card. You do not have to pay for these new cards. Also, be careful if you get a call from someone saying they need to update your information. This could be a scammer phishing for personal information. Do not confirm or give out your full name, address, Social Security number or any other personal information," said BBB's Rebecca Barr.

Barr says if someone calls asking you for your information, money or threatens to cancel your health benefits, hang up the phone and report it to the Medicare office by calling 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227).

"When you do get your new card, be sure to destroy your old card. Don’t just toss it in the trash. Shred it. If you have a separate Medicare Advantage card, keep that because you’ll still need it for treatment," Barr added.

BBB recommends safeguarding your new Medicare card like you would any other health insurance or credit card.

"While removing the Social Security number cuts down on many types of identity theft, you’ll still want to protect your new card because identity thieves could use it to get medical services," Barr said.

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