SACRAMENTO, Calif., Dec. 3, 2013 – The Medicare open enrollment periods ends on Saturday, December 7, 2013, and your Better Business Bureau serving Northeast California reminds consumers to be vigilant whether you or a loved one are shopping for coverage.
Your BBB has received several reports of consumers being contacted by alleged Medicare representatives demanding sensitive information. Scammers call claiming that they are Medicare advisors or benefit counselors offering to reduce Medicare premiums, handle enrollment issues or more commonly issue a new Medicare card, when in fact they do not have any affiliation with the government or Medicare. Their ultimate goal is obtain a victim’s bank account number, credit card information or Medicare number in order to gain access to their bank information or commit identity theft fraud.
“It doesn’t matter who claims to be on the phone; do not give unsolicited callers your bank account or social security numbers,” said Gary Almond, president of BBB Serving Northeast California. “Always make sure you are speaking with a trustworthy person and business before taking the conversation any further.”
To avoid giving out sensitive information to the wrong people, your BBB offers the following tips:
Do not give personal information to unsolicited callers.
The government does not call, text or email. Also, the government should already possess the necessary information and should not ask for your social security number or address.
Do not accept free medical services or equipment in exchange for your Medicare number.
Identify real Medicare providers. Call 1-800-MEDICARE or TTY at 1-866-653-4261.