SCAM TRACKER: Expect New Medicare Cards AND Scammers

If you use Medicare, there are two things you need to know:

1) Over the next two years, new Medicare cards are going to be mailed out and 2) that could pinpoint you as a new target for scammers.

During our Scam Tracker segment on Wednesday, September 6th during WQAD News 8 at 11am, Sandra Bowden with the Better Business Bureau of the Greater Quad Cities explained the important reason why the cards are different and how to protect yourself from getting scammed.

According to the BBB, in 2015 the MACRA (Medicare Access and Chip Reauthorization Act) was passed, which requires all cards that currently use a person's Social Security number be replaced by a Medicare Beneficiary Identifier number, taking off the Social Security number.

The goal of MACRA is to protect people from identify theft and fraud. However, scammers may take advantage of this change. Here's what the BBB wants you to watch out for:

  1. Door to door - be very cautious of someone coming to your door and claiming to represent Medicare. They are scammers!
  2. Be very cautious of someone calling you on the phone and claiming to represent Medicare. You will never be asked to verify your Social Security number over the phone. They are scammers!
  3. There are no costs associated with these replacement cards! If someone tells you there is, it is a scam!
  4. If a caller tries to use scare tactics and threaten that you will lose your Medicare coverage unless you verify your identify by providing a bank account or credit card information, it is a scam!

If you already have a card, the receipt of this new Medicare card is automatic. You do not need to reapply or providing any information.

For more information, click here.