Warning! Medicare Scam Actively Targeting Wisconsin Seniors
There are so many scams going around that it can be hard to keep up with them. Sadly, scammers tend to have the most success targeting those most vulnerable, such as seniors within a community.
Recently, one such scam was reported in Bayfield County and authorities were quick to warn the public about not only this scam but others that seniors across the Northland might encounter.
According to a recent Facebook post on the Bayfield County Government page, a local woman reported a scam to Bayfield County. She said she received a call and her caller ID said “Bayfield County”.
Upon answering, the man on the other end of the call said that it was a “Medicare Service Call” and he needed to update information for the woman’s new Medicare card. She sensed something was off, which led her to question why she would even need a new Medicare card. The caller told her that “everybody's getting a new Medicare card”.
She noted that he was very insistent and kept relaying this was real, and that she needed to do it now. Fortunately, the woman did not back down and did not give him her Medicare number or any other personal information as requested and she ultimately hung up on him.
It's important for everyone to remember the following:
- Bayfield County will never call you to update your information for Medicare, nor will any other city.
- Medicare will never call you for this information.
- Social Security will never call you either.
What this woman encountered were textbook scammer techniques. They claim what they're doing is necessary while applying pressure to heighten the sense of urgency. Sadly, not everyone catches on, hangs up, and reports them. Many others fall for it and provide information that will be used to take advantage of them.
Senior Medicare Patrol notes that in 2018, Medicare updated the Medicare card from containing a person’s Social Security number to a random identifier that includes numbers and letters. That was the last time the card was updated and there is no plan to update it again.
They add that the card from Medicare is a paper card that has a blue banner on the top, a white middle, and a red banner on the bottom. However, you can print your own in black and white.
Seniors are advised to report Report potential Medicare card scams if someone calls them claiming:
- You are getting a new, plastic Medicare card.
- Medicare is switching to a card with a chip in it.
- It’s a new year so you need a new card.
- You need a black and white card.
- They need your Medicare number to see if you have received your new one yet.
- They need you to verify your Medicare number so they can confirm you have the correct Medicare card.
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