There is a “new” Medicare scam circulating in Kenosha County. Again. Scammers have cleverly put a new twist on a scam that originated in 2020.
The Kenosha County Aging & Disability Resource Center recently received a call from a savvy consumer alerting staff of the scam.
“Mary” received a call that seemed legitimate. The scammer introduced himself as being with Medicare and asked for the last 4 digits of the “new plastic Medicare card” that was sent — “the one with the chip on it.” The scammer said he was “verifying that she had received it”. The scammer was even able to confirm Mary’s address and her spouse’s name. To build additional trust with Mary, the scammer emphasized he wasn’t asking for her Social Security number, just confirming that she received the card.
Mary questioned the scammer, and he replied, “If you don’t believe me, you can call the local Medicare office.” Fortunately, Mary knew there isn’t a local Medicare office and quickly hung up and called the ADRC.
The ADRC verified this scam. Others are not as fortunate as Mary. The scammer plays on the victim’s need to ensure they have the most up-to-date Medicare chip card. The victims, worried that they haven’t received their new card, are compelled to give the scammer their full Medicare number resulting in exploitation, fraud and potential identity theft.
Medicare is NOT issuing new Medicare cards. Period. Not because of the pandemic. Not for any other reason. Not in plastic. Not with a chip. There are NO NEW Medicare Cards.
If you receive a call from someone who tells you they are with Medicare, hang up. Hang up even if your caller ID shows the call is from Medicare. It’s important to keep in mind that Medicare will never call you unless you have contacted them with a concern and have already spoken to an actual Medicare representative. If you have, the call will be directly related to the issue you originally called about, not something else.
Medicare will NEVER call you for an issue similar to the one described above. Medicare communicates through the U.S. Postal Service for all important information, even when issuing new cards.
Benefit Specialists at the Kenosha County Aging & Disability Resource Center are available for your Medicare questions and concerns. Services are free and confidential. The ADRC is open Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. Call 262-605-6646.
— Paula J. Clark, Kenosha County ADRC Community Outreach Coordinator