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Medicare Telephone Scam

Two Medicare telephone scams have resurfaced in Colorado.  The caller claims to represent Medicare or a business that provides Medicare services. They ask for personal information, such as a Medicare number or bank routing information.   The Colorado SMP Medicare Fraud and Abuse Program reminds consumers that no one from Medicare will ever telephone you to ask for your Medicare number or banking information.

In one situation people call claiming to represent Medicare, Social Security or another government organization and ask for bank routing information to charge Medicare premiums.  This is happening nationwide.  The caller gives a name that sounds official, such as “National Medical Office” or “Medicare National Office”, and tells the consumer that they are getting a new Medicare card and will be charged a one-time fee for their Medicare premiums or prescription drug plan.  The caller asks for banking information or a credit card number and is quite insistent that their Medicare will be canceled if they do not give the information.

In another scenario the caller says they represent a Durable Medical Equipment (DME) company that provides medical supplies such as a wheelchair or walker.  DME suppliers are not allowed to “cold call” consumers to get orders for supplies.  We received a report from a Fort Collins consumer who got a call from someone who said they were a DME supplier and wanted to take an order over the phone.  This could have been someone wanting to defraud Medicare with a fake order or someone just wanting to get the consumer’s Medicare number or banking information.

Medicare representatives may contact Medicare consumers to ask survey questions about benefits, but the caller will not ask the consumer for their Medicare number or banking information.

Medicare fraud wastes money every year, resulting in higher health care costs for all.   The Colorado SMP program works to help consumers learn to protect themselves and to detect and report Medicare fraud and abuse.  If someone calls asking for your personal information try to get information about the person and the company, including a telephone number, and report the call to the Colorado SMP program at 1-800-503-5190.