In the midst of all of the confusion surrounding the Corona virus/Covid 19 and concerns over how to stay safe and well, we have a new contender in the arena. As usual, scammers find ways to take advantage of the situation. They may try to steal your Medicare number, Social Security number, banking information or other vital, personal information. It is important you protect your information to avoid being a victim.
Scammers are potentially using a variety of ways to get your information. The most common are robocalls, direct phone calls and emails scams. Some of the scams include “free” testing kits in exchange for your Medicare number, access to surgical masks or “PPE” in exchange for your Medicare number and access to “cures” or preventative vaccines.
Keep in mind, testing for Covid 19 is covered by Medicare at an approved facility or provider. As of now, there is not an actual “cure” and a vaccine has yet to be developed.
Fake pop up testing sites have also been reported in several states. They are showing up in church parking lots, Wal-mart parking lots and homeless shelters to name a few. The testers are dressed in protective gear and in exchange for your Medicare number, they will “test” you for the virus. They may also charge you a fee for the fake test. These test swabs end up in the garbage and you have given your money or your information to a scammer that can use that information to submit fraudulent claims to Medicare.
Another scam that has been circulating involves Social Security benefits. You may receive an official looking letter stating that due the Corona virus, your benefits are being discontinued or suspended. You will need to contact the number provided to confirm your “information” to avoid this action. They may ask you to pay a fee or tell you that you have a fine to pay to keep your benefits or reinstate them. You may also get a call instead of a letter. DO NOT RESPOND TO THE LETTER AND IF YOU RECEIVE A CALL, HANG UP AND DO NOT GIVE OUT YOUR INFORMATION!!
Social Security will never contact you and ask to verify personal information over the phone or by letter unless you have initiated contact such as in regards to a claim. If you are unsure, call Social Security directly to confirm that individual reaching out to you is a legitimate employee of Social Security.
Keep yourself safe by following these guidelines:
Make sure you stay informed and share this information with your friends and family. This may help them avoid being a victim. If you feel you have been a victim of one of these scams, or one that has yet to be identified, do not be scared or embarrassed to report the incident. You can contact the Office of the Inspector General, Medicare or your local law enforcement agency and they should be able to help.
Stay safe and well. If we can be of assistance, do not hesitate to reach out to us at Liberty Medicare Advisors 1-800-791-6850