A law passed in 2015 requires Medicare to remove Social Security numbers from Medicare cards. Beneficiaries will begin to receive their new cards in May, and the rollout will continue into 2019. This is a good move, since Social Security numbers are the key to identity theft, and having them displayed on Medicare cards has long presented a risk. Unfortunately, scammers have come up with ways to take advantage of this change.
HOW IT WORKS:
- Scammers claiming to be from Medicare call and ask you to verify your Social Security number in order to receive your new card.
- Scammers call to collect a “processing fee” in order for you to receive your new Medicare card.
WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW:
- Medicare will NEVER ask beneficiaries to confirm their Social Security number or ask for money in order to receive the new Medicare card.
WHAT YOU SHOULD DO:
- If you receive a call like this, hang up and report it to Medicare at 1-800-633-4427.
- If your address has changed, you’ll need to report it to the Social Security Administration in order to receive your new card. Contact them to update your information at 1-800-772-1213, or www.ssa.gov/myaccount.
If you have been the target of a medicare scam, please alert the SD Division of Consumer Protections by calling 1-800-300-1986 or visiting consumer.sd.gov. They can investigate these scams and warn other South Dakotans to stay vigilant.
When it comes to fraud, vigilance is our number one weapon. You can join the Fraud Watch Network and receive alerts about scams happening in South Dakota. Any one of any age can join for free by visiting aarp.org/fraudwatchnetwork or to receive Fraud Watch Network alerts by phone, call 1-866-542-8172.