Older woman talking on the phone and holding papers.
Source: Getty

Why You Keep Getting Medicare Scam Calls and How to Stop the Robocalls

By

Oct. 28 2021, Published 8:08 a.m. ET

While scam calls are nothing new, they are getting more aggressive and sophisticated. Medicare scam calls are one of the biggest perpetrators. According to CNBC, “Americans lost $29.8 billion to phone scams alone over the past year,” and that number doesn’t look like it will be any lower because Medicare open enrollment has just started.

Article continues below advertisement

The people who run these scams rely upon people's ignorance of how Medicare works to get their confidential data. So, to arm yourself against the scammers, here is the information you need to prevent yourself or a loved one falling victim to those Medicare robocalls.

The Medicare open enrollment period tends to lead to an increase in scam calls.

From October 15 to December 7, Medicare beneficiaries can renew their benefits and new insurance seekers are able to apply. They can also expect brochures, notices from Social Security, a “Medicare & You” handbook, or even an Annual Notice of Changes (ANOC) depending on their enrollment status.

Article continues below advertisement
older man looking at phone
Source: getty

From October 15 to December 7, Medicare beneficiaries can renew their benefits and new insurance seekers are able to apply. They can also expect brochures, notices from Social Security, a “Medicare & You” handbook, or even an Annual Notice of Changes (ANOC) depending on their enrollment status.

Article continues below advertisement
Source: Twitter

Rep Stevens shares details about Medicare open enrollment dates

With so much information being mailed, and the need for Medicare recipients to access their account to review their information, it can become quite confusing when determining what is legit and what isn’t. Fraudsters are well aware of this, especially during enrollment season.

Article continues below advertisement

How Medicare sought to protect its beneficiaries

Historically, it has been incredibly easy to siphon information from vulnerable people over the phone, especially the elderly, due to the fact that people have grown accustomed to verifying their identity with their social security number.

To help combat this inherent trust, g

Groups like AARP often alert older Americans to some of the warning signs that should make them skeptical about the intentions of a caller.

Article continues below advertisement

How to spot a scam call and protect your information.

Scam likely caller ID
Source: T-Mobile Website

T-mobile shows 'scam likely' caller ID for iPhone

AARP and AgingCare warning signs include:

  • Attempts to verify your identity to receive an updated Medicare card

  • Offers for free medical supplies with a request for SSN or Medicare number

  • Claims that you’re entitled to a refund

  • A prerecorded message that asks you to press “1” to be removed from a call list

  • Offers of goods and services for free

  • A message saying you owe taxes

  • Demands of money for unpaid bills with legal consequences if not paid

  • Offers for sweepstakes that ask you to call to claim the prize

Article continues below advertisement

It is not uncommon for scammers to gather very basic information about you such as your full name, address, and even date of birth. But when it comes to Medicare, remember that the agency will never call you unless you have called the 1-800-MEDICARE number and specifically requested a return call. Medicare also won't make unsolicited calls to offer products or services.

Additionally, Medicare cards do not expire; rather, they are automatically renewed. If you have questions about renewal, need to replace a lost card, or want to report a Medicare scam number, you are encouraged to call 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227) or visit the Social Security Administration website for information.

How to protect yourself and those around you from malicious robocalls.

Elderly couple
Source: Getty Images

Couple in an embrace

Scammers know to target the elderly and vulnerable, never answer a number you don’t recognize. Smartphones can even alert you with a “Scam Likely” caller ID to help people remain protected (find out how to activate it here).

Also, never provide your personal information or give money to an entity you don’t recognize over the phone. If you ever find yourself in conversation with a suspicious “company,” don’t be afraid to ask for a direct call back number, a request that usually drives scammers to hang up.

Advertisement

More From Market Realist

    • CONNECT with Market Realist
    • Link to Facebook
    • Link to Twitter
    • Link to Instagram
    • Link to Email Subscribe
    Market Realist Logo
    Do Not Sell My Personal Information

    © Copyright 2021 Market Realist. Market Realist is a registered trademark. All Rights Reserved. People may receive compensation for some links to products and services on this website. Offers may be subject to change without notice.