The Following is important information from the Better Business Bureau. Seniors are often the target for scams:
Protecting our seniors is a high priority with BBB. Listed below are common scams and problems with identity theft in relation to Medicare. Also provided are “quick tips” that tell you when to just walk away, hang up the phone, or just say no.
Be suspicious of doctors, health care providers and suppliers who:
- Ask for your Medicare number in exchange for free services or equipment.
- Tell you they need it for “record keeping purposes”
- Advertise “free ” consultation for people on Medicare
- Call or visit use stating they represent ” Medicare or the federal government”
- Use telephone or door to door selling techniques.
- Use pressure or scare tactics to sell you expensive medical services or diagnostic tests
- Bill Medicare for services you never received or a diagnosis you do not have
- Offer non-medical transportation or housekeeping as Medicare-approved service
- Bill home health care services for patients who are not confined to their home, or for patients who are still able to drive
- Bill Medicare for medical equipment for people who are in nursing homes
- Bill Medicare for tests received as a hospital inpatient or within 72 hours of admission or discharge
- Bill Medicare for a power wheelchair or scooter when you do not meet Medicare’s qualifications.
Identity theft happens when someone uses your personal information without your consent to commit fraud or other crimes. Personal information includes your name, Social Security, Medicare, or credit card numbers. You may not find out about the theft until you review your credit report or a credit card statement and notice charges you didn’t make – or until you’re contacted by a debt collector.
BBB offers the following tips:
- Hang up if anyone calls asking you for your Medicare/Medicaid # over the phone
- Hang up if approached you in a public area and offered FREE services, groceries, or other items in exchange for your Medicare number?
- Be suspicious of health care providers, or suppliers told you that the equipment or service is free, it won’t cost you anything, and they only need your Medicare number for their records?
- Call your local BBB at 216-241-7678 to check out businesses before giving your personal information over the phone
The BBB Foundation thanks Dominion East Ohio Gas and many generous BBB Accredited Businesses for their support of the Senior Awareness Initiative