It’s Medicare scam season

Medicare open enrollment season is also Medicare scam season
It’s Medicare open enrollment season through December 7. And while Medicare scams happen year-round, open enrollment season is a time when Medicare scammers, who love to take advantage of all of the attention being paid to Medicare, are particularly active.
How It Works
• You get a call claiming that Medicare is sending out new “plastic” Medicare cards — all you need to do is verify your Medicare card number.
• You receive a call or home visit from a home health care agency offering to sign you up for services that Medicare will pay for.
• You get a call or see an ad offering state-of-the-art braces to relieve joint pain that Medicare will pay for.
• You get a call from a Medicare plan, offering a special “deal” on a new plan during open enrollment, perhaps along with a free gift or limited-time offer.
What You Should Know
• Medicare is sticking with the current paper card and is not sending out plastic cards.
• An ad or a call offering you free equipment, tests, or services from Medicare is a scam. They are only covered by Medicare under your doctor’s prescription.
• By law, legitimate Medicare plans are permitted to contact you only if you have previously requested information, and they aren’t allowed to offer you cash or gifts worth more than $15 to join their plan.
What You Should Do
• Hang up on anyone calling and claiming they need to issue you a new plastic Medicare card. It’s a scam.
• Only share your Medicare number with trusted healthcare providers, and never with someone who calls you out of the blue.
Do you think you have been targeted or have fallen victim to a scam? Contact the AARP Fraud Watch Network Helpline. Call 877-908-3360.

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