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8 On Your Side: Scammers target people looking to receive new Medicare cards

LAS VEGAS - From now until April of next year, Medicare is sending out new cards to the roughly 60 million Americans with the federal health insurance program.

Medicare is rolling out new cards to remove social security numbers from the cards.  Several states have already received theirs, and Nevada residents should have theirs soon. 

Unfortunately, the move has brought about a new round of scammers trying to get Medicare recipients personal information.

8 News NOW received several calls from viewers saying they have gotten calls from someone claiming to be with Medicare, but Medicare doesn't call does not call anyone without an invite.

The scammer will often provide the person they're calling with their name, address or other information that is easy to find online. Then they'll ask the person to confirm their Medicare I.D. by giving them their social security number.

So how can you or your loved ones protect yourself?

If someone calls you pretending to be from Medicare -- hang up!   You don't need to pay anything or pay anyone to get your new Medicare card.

Once you receive your new cards, make sure you properly dispose of the old one by cutting it up into small pieces.  Don't just throw it away where a thief could get it and get your social security number.

Below are more tips to protect yourself from identity theft and health care fraud:

  • Do not share your Medicare number with anyone—by telephone, e-mail or in person—unless it is a trusted provider.
  • Medicare will NEVER contact you (unless asked) for your Medicare number or other personal information.
  • Do not let anyone borrow or use your Medicare number.
  • Review your Medicare Summary Notice to be sure charges and billings are correct.
     

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