FTC warns of possible Medicare card scams

Word medicare written on a paper and stethoscope.

If you currently have Medicare, new changes will be coming your way in April of 2019. No longer will your Medicare card show your Social Security Number. Instead, your card will have a new Medicare Beneficiary Identifier (MBI) that will be used for billing and for checking your eligibility and claim status. But don’t worry, this will all happen without you having to call anyone or pay a dime.

The change was enacted as way to help seniors protect themselves against identity theft. However, according to the Federal Trade Commission, scammers may take advantage of this change and trick you into giving up your personal information.

Consider these questions if someone claims they are calling regarding Medicare:

  • Is someone calling, claiming to be from Medicare, and asking for your Social Security number or bank information? Hang up. That’s a scam. First, Medicare won’t call you. Second, Medicare will never ask for your Social Security number or bank information.
  • Is someone asking you to pay for your new card? That’s a scam. Your new Medicare card is free.
  • Is someone threatening to cancel your benefits if you don’t give up information or money? Also a scam. New Medicare cards will be mailed out to you automatically. There won’t be any changes to your benefits.
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