Telephone Scam Targets Medicare Beneficiaries

Eldorado, Texas (March 7, 2018) – Scam artists aware of federal plans to re-issue Medicare cards are calling seniors across the country to trick them into disclosing confidential financial information. This can lead to identify theft or unauthorized withdrawals from personal accounts.

“We want to let everyone in the community know that the number of calls may increase with widespread publicity by Medicare that new cards are being issued,” said Paul Burke, administrator of Schleicher County Medical Center.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Social Security Administration WILL NOT call Medicare beneficiaries to update information before they issue the new cards.

“So if someone calls claiming to represent Medicare or Social Security and asks you to confirm your social security number or other personal information, or requests any financial information, hang up,” encouraged Burke.

Ironically, CMS is issuing new cards to protect seniors from fraudulent use of Social Security numbers which can lead to identity theft and illegal use of Medicare benefits.

If you receive a fraudulent call, you may wish to notify CMS at www.cms.gov and provide any information you may have regarding the call. You can also call the San Antonio Office of the FBI at (210) 225-6741.

The new Medicare cards will replace Social Security numbers with a new, unique, randomly assigned Medicare Beneficiary Identifier. CMS will begin mailing new cards in April 2018, and plans to replace all Medicare Cards by April 2019.

Medicare is instructing beneficiaries to safely and securely destroy their old cards once they receive the new card. The new cards will not change the benefits an individual covered by Medicare will receive.

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