Created on Saturday, 03 November 2012 Written by THE BELLEFONTAINE EXAMINER STAFF
SIDNEY — Deputies of the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office warns residents of a Medicare-related scam that has surfaced in the area.
Sheriff John R. Lenhart said seniors should be wary of calls from scammers, claiming to be with Medicare and asking for personal information such as Social Security numbers and bank account numbers.
Seniors have reported receiving phone calls from individuals claiming to be with Medicare offering “free” items such as a back brace and diabetic supplies in exchange for the consumers’ personal and financial information.
In other scenario, the caller claims “all seniors are getting a new Medicare card” and for “verification purposes,” seniors are asked for their bank account number associated with their Social Security benefits.
Consumers should be suspicious of unsolicited calls from anyone claiming to be from Medicare, as Medicare will generally not make these kinds of calls to update information, issue a new card or offer free medical equipment.
Seniors should call a trusted Medicare number if they have questions regarding their benefits.
Sheriff Lenhart and the Better Business Bureau offer the following tips on safeguarding personal information and protecting against Medicare scams:
• Be suspicious of any door-to-door or telephone solicitations claiming to be affiliated with Medicare.
• Be wary of anyone offering you something for “free” in exchange for your Medicare number. Medicare will not pay for medical equipment without a physician’s signature verifying that it is necessary.
• Only give your insurance/Medicare information to those who have provided you with medical service.
• Keep accurate records of medical appointments, procedures and medical equipment.
• Ask your medical providers what they will charge and how much you’ll have to pay out of pocket.
• Never sign blank Medicare insurance forms.
• Ensure that your provider is approved by Medicare by calling (800) 633-4227.