Welcome to the Oregon FBI’s Tech Tuesday segment. Today: Building a digital defense against Medicare Fraud.
December 7th is the end of the open enrollment period for Medicare recipients. It’s a chance to change your health and prescription drug options, if you wish. It’s also a prime time for scammers to target seniors with fraud.
Here’s some helpful information from our partners at Medicare and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC):
In addition to regular mail notifications that you may receive from Medicare or Social Security, seniors may be receiving information and solicitations from insurance companies that offer Medicare health and prescription drug plans. If you live in Oregon and need help navigating the Medicare system, you can contact the Senior Health Insurance Benefits Assistance agency (SHIBA).
Bad actors often try to take advantage of seniors by getting between them and official sources of information. They may show up at your home or contact you by phone, email, text message, or social media post. Here are some important things to keep in mind:
- Medicare will never contact you for your Medicare number or other personal information unless you’ve given it permission in advance.
- Medicare will never call you to sell you anything.
- You may get calls from people promising you things if you give them a Medicare number. Don’t do it.
- Medicare will never visit you at your home.
- Medicare can’t enroll you over the phone unless you call first.
- If someone calls claiming to be from Medicare, asking for your Social Security number or bank information to get your new card or new benefits, that’s a scam.
- Don’t give personal information to a caller claiming to be from Medicare. You can’t trust caller ID. These calls can be spoofed so they look like they’re coming from Medicare even when they’re not.
Before you give any personal information, initiate your own call to Medicare at 1-800-MEDICARE. You should also call this number if you feel as though you have been scammed.
Also, if you are the victim of this or any other online scam, you should report the incident to the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center at www.ic3.gov or call your FBI local office.