Scammers spend their days pretending to be someone they aren’t, like government agents or medical staff, to con us out of information and money. That’s why we join our friends at the Senior Medicare Patrol in raising awareness about Medicare imposters during Medicare Fraud Prevention Week. If you or someone you know has Medicare, here’s advice to help protect your time, money, and information from Medicare imposters.

Don’t share your Medicare number. Your Medicare number is valuable. Don’t share it over the phone with anyone for any reason — and scammers have a lot of fake “reasons.” Scammers ask for Medicare numbers to “verify your identity” or to offer you “new plastic cards.” But Medicare won’t call you to verify your card, and Medicare cards are paper, not plastic, and they’re free. Other scammers claim they’ll send a Medicare-approved back or knee brace if you give them your number. But those are scams, too. If your doctor wants you to have equipment, they’ll talk with you about it at an appointment, not have someone call unexpectedly to offer it to you. Report these kinds of scams to the FTC at

Check your monthly Medicare statement. Do the details about your recent visits, services, and products match your records and receipts? If not, or your statement shows double charges, charges for something you didn’t get, or charges for things your doctor didn’t order — like back or knee braces — call your doctor or health plan. If you suspect health care fraud or abuse, contact your state Senior Medicare Patrol.

Report medical identity theftIf you think someone used your information to get medical care, get copies of your medical records from each doctor, hospital, pharmacy, and other place the thief might have used your information. Review the records and tell your provider about any errors. Report the theft at and create a plan to recover from problems the identity theft may have caused.

Its a scam if someone says they need your Medicare number so they can send.a new card.


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