Local

‘Medicare scams are just ongoing;’ Ohio Department of Insurance warns seniors

DAYTON — The Ohio Department of Insurance is warning people about how thieves are trying to use Medicare to steal from people.

News Center 7′s Kayla McDermott talked to a director with the Ohio Department of Insurance and explains who these scammers are targeting and how simple it is to protect yourself.

>>RELATED: Reporting gaps exposed for abuse allegations at Medicare/Medicaid certified hospices

People across Ohio are getting phone calls from scam artists and the top victims are the elderly.

Scammers are calling and pretending to be government officials to get your personal information.

“Medicare scams are just ongoing,” said Christina Reeg, Ohio Senior Health Insurance Program Director.

McDermott says they call and say you need a “new Medicare card,” one made out of plastic and one with a chip, which does not exist.

“There is no new Medicare card,” Reeg said. “Medicare sent out new cards back in 2017. And this was a frequent scam, then.”

>>RELATED: Feds expect to collect $4.7B in insurance fraud penalties

They are asking seniors to be careful.

“Sometimes, a little more trusting on the phone,” Reeg told McDermott. “And there’s a higher need, you know, they might feel they need for that new Medicare card.”

She says for those who do fall for the scam, it can be devastating.

“If they gave out social security numbers, they could have their identity taken from them,” explained Reeg. “If they gave out bank account information, they could be losing money.”

She tells McDermott to keep that from happening to you, just simply don’t answer the phone.

>>RELATED: Medicare premiums will drop next year. How much can you save?

“Government agencies are not making these calls,” said Reeg. “It’s true to be rude. Hang up the phone if someone is asking you for person info.”

She also said to report anytime you think you may have come across a scammer to your insurance company or the police.

“By sharing and reporting this information,” she concluded. “It may help stop and help prevent someone else being in that position.”

0
Comments on this article