New Medicare cards a target of scam artists

CMS has begun sending out new cards for Medicare beneficiaries that don’t include information about the patient’s Social Security number. Most beneficiaries, however, don’t know about the new cards, leaving them vulnerable to scams.

Rather than a Social Security number, the new cards have a 11-digit Medicare Beneficiary Identifier along with the Medicare services a beneficiary is entitled to receive and the date their coverage started. Once a beneficiary receives their new card, they’re supposed to throw it out, while providers will accept both new and old Medicare cards through the end of 2019.

Nearly 75 percent of Medicare-eligible Americans have no ideas the cards are coming, according to a recent AARP survey. As Deseret News reports, scammers are taking advantage of that lack of awareness with a few different schemes. For example, some beneficiaries have received calls with offer to send the new card after paying a $25 fee—even though the real card is free. Others said scammers told them the card would be mailed out as soon as the beneficiary verifies personal information like their Social Security number, which CMS already knows.

Read more on the scams at the link below: