Reed: There is no Medicare gold card
The woman on the line informed Michael that he had been chosen to receive a Medicare gold card. She had his address and merely needed to verify his Medicare number to be certain she was sending the card to the correct recipient. Michael was initially skeptical and asked her to read out his card number for him to verify. The woman replied she couldn’t do that, but she instead gave him her name and Medicare “badge number.”
Michael hesitated but let his guard down and searched in his wallet for his card. When he finished revealing his own number, the caller then asked for his wife’s Medicare card number. At that moment, his wife, Kathleen walked up and he handed her the phone. When asked for her Medicare number, Kathleen instantly realizing this was a scam, answered, “We’re not giving you any more information,” and hung up.
Both initially panicked not certain what to do now that Michael’s information was in the hands of scammers.
What can one bitten by a scam do to report it?
Fortunately, Michael and Kathleen recovered their composure and had the presence of mind to search the internet to obtain information on what to do now that Michael had given out his Medicare number.
They Googled “Medicare Card Scam” and scrolled through the multiple entries that popped up until they found one titled “Medicare.gov.” Assured that this was a legitimate Medicare site, they opened it and learned they should report the scam by calling 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227).
How can one’s identity be protected after falling for this Medicare card scam?
The Medicare representative told Michael that he would be assigned a new Medicare number and card, which would arrive in approximately two weeks. In the meantime, if he needed medical care, he was to use his old card, which would still be good.
Michael was instructed to be on the lookout for any notices showing medical services charged to his old Medicare number. Should he receive any, he was to report this to the Medicare fraud division at the same number he had called to report the scam.
Sandra W. Reed practices Elder Law in Somervell County, which includes handling probating of estates, drafting of wills, trusts, powers of attorney and deeds as well as estate and Medicaid planning. She lives on beautiful Chalk Mountain and can be reached at 254.797.0211; 817.946.2809 or at email@example.com.