A new Medicare fraud scam is going around in which scammers are calling or sending postcards offering a new back or knee brace, reports the Better Business Bureau. The scammers claim to be from Medicare or a medical warehouse, and some even say they were referred by your doctor or a caregiver. They ask for the person’s Medicare number, and callers are pushy in trying to get your personal information.
The National Council on Aging warned about these and others scams in an article earlier this year, in which they stated that the three most popular scams in 2017 would be a mass mailing fraud indicating that you have won a prize, a notice from the “IRS” saying you owe money, and colorful postcards about a Medicare-covered back or knee brace.
The back brace scam is not the only type of Medicare fraud out there. Scammers are always coming up with a new ploy, so be on the lookout. Fraud has become an expensive problem in the U.S., costing over $80 billion each year. Some common types of fraud are inflated hospital bills, length of stay, phantom billing, and cloning.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services are updating Medicare cards to help prevent fraudulent action, but everyone still must be vigilant.
Important Things to Remember:
- Don’t give out personal information, such as your social security number or Medicare number, over the phone. If it were Medicare calling, they would already have your information on file.
- Hang up the phone or throw away the postcard if you suspect something is fraud. The same goes for TV ads; turn them off or disregard them.
- Always double check your Medicare statement for errors.
- Report instances of fraud to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the Better Business Bureau’s Scam Tracker.
If you are in need of a back or knee brace, or any medical device, see your doctor to get one prescribed to you. That way, it can be processed correctly through your Medicare or other insurance plan.