Fort Wayne, IN (WOWO) Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill is warning Hoosiers to be cautious of Medicare Open Enrollment scams in which private companies offer Medicare to eligible seniors.
Medicare open enrollment runs through December 7, and is a prime time for scammers to target Medicare-eligible seniors. Hill tells WOWO News that there are several things you can do to avoid being scammed.
- Government agencies rarely, if ever call via phone. If they do it will only be after they send you a letter or return a call you made to them.
- Anyone who tries to sell you Medicare insurance while claiming to be an “official Medicare agent” is a scammer. There are no Medicare sales representatives.
- Be vigilant for mailers that appear to be government communications but are actually advertisements for private companies. These documents sometimes will have a disclaimer, but the disclaimer will be in tiny font. Read carefully!
- The Medicare prescription drug plan (also known as Part D) is voluntary. Ignore anyone who calls saying you must join their prescription plan or you will lose your Medicare coverage.
- Never give anyone who unexpectedly calls or approaches you information such as your Medicare, bank account, credit card or Social Security number. Scammers can use your information, steal your identity, get credit in your name, and take your money. Anyone who tells you that you must provide personal information to keep your coverage is a scammer.
- Don’t trust caller ID. Scammers use technology to hide their real numbers and instead show numbers that seem legitimate. So if the caller ID shows a 202 area code or says “government” or “Washington DC,” don’t take that at face value. It could be anyone calling from anywhere.If you need help with Medicare, call 1-800-MEDICARE or go to https://www.medicare.gov/.
- When you receive scam calls, hang up and report the call.
Report Medicare impostors at 1-800-MEDICARE or go to Ftc.gov/complaint.
As always, consumers who believe they are the victims of scam attempts are also asked to report them to the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division by calling 1-800-382-5516 or going online at www.in.gov/attorneygeneral and clicking the “File a Complaint” box at the bottom of the page.