Medicare fraud is one of the leading threats to vulnerable customers looking at the healthcare market, today. With the advent of the Affordable Care Act, people have options for their healthcare that they have not had, before. However, the rise in affordable healthcare brought with it a rise in scammers that seek to profit off the uninformed and ill-advised, especially in the area of Medicare. With the complex and complicated health care regulations and laws, how can people protect themselves from becoming victim to the next predator? They do it by learning how to identify those offers that are fake and those that are real.

Common Markers of Fraud

Fortunately, many of these scammers have been using the same strategy that can easily be identified and rejected. The first thing that is similar of those that do this is that they will identify themselves as being a “Federal employee from Medicare or another government agency,” according to AARP.

Then, these scammers will claim that there are new Medicare cards coming, but they need to verify some sensitive information by their target in order to issue the new cards and continue receiving benefits. USA Today reports they tell the seniors that “you must provide your Medicare number” in order to do receive the benefits.

The fact is that Medicare DID enact a change, as it relates to new cards according to the Office of the Inspector General. However, the change was to make their account more secure by changing the requirements that the cards reflect or embed the recipient’s Medicare number at all. The change was to make it MORE secure and prevent that sensitive information from falling into the hands of someone that may steal or come across the wallet or purse of a card carrying member.

What They Are After

You may be wondering what the scam artists are after in going after the Medicare number of the elderly. The Medicare number is their Social Security number, and those scammers that are successful in getting this information from unsuspecting seniors can use that information to setup financial accounts, redirect Social Security payments and much more.

Be Aware

Healthcare is a confusing and changing system; however, a little caution and awareness can prevent you from becoming the next prey to this rising threat.