New Medicare Card Scams on the rise

Medicare card scams, man on cell phone

Have you received any calls from “Medicare” asking you to verify your Medicare number for the new card being sent your way? If so, hang up. This is a scam. Medicare will NOT call you, does not need you to verify your number (they already have it), and is NOT sending out new cards to beneficiaries.

This is a growing scam and we’re receiving a rising number of reports of beneficiaries being inundated with calls. One beneficiary recently reported getting at least four calls a day, even after hanging up and telling the person he did not want a new card and that he wasn’t going to give any information.

Many of these scammers can come across as very professional and some have access to a surprising amount of personal information. In some cases, they may know your address, your doctor’s name, types of illnesses or conditions you may have. This is all to try to lure you into trusting them and giving them your Medicare and/or other personal information. They may also falsely tell you that Medicare is issuing an updated or new card—that is a plastic one, metal one, or one with a chip.

While Medicare did start sending new Medicare cards to all beneficiaries in April 2018, all cards had been sent by January 2019. These cards have new numbers which were designed to better protect against identity theft by removing their Social Security number. And although the rollout of these updated cards was completed five years ago, scams around these new cards are continuing and rising.

Here are some red flags to be aware of:

  • Unsolicited calls from someone claiming to be from Medicare.
  • Anyone needing your information so that they can send you an updated Medicare card.
  • Anyone claiming that your card is expiring and that you will be charged a fine if you do not get a new one.
  • Anyone stating that Medicare is issuing new cards and you need to verify your number.

If you believe you have experienced potential fraud, report it to our California Senior Medicare Patrol (SMP) at 1-855-613-7080.

Karen Joy Fletcher

Our blogger Karen Joy Fletcher is CHA’s Communications Director. With a Masters in Public Health from UC Berkeley, she is the online “public face” of the organization, provides technical expertise, writing and research on Medicare and other health care issues. She is responsible for digital content creation, management of CHA’s editorial calendar, and managing all aspects of CHA’s social media presence. She loves being a “communicator” and enjoys networking and collaborating with the passionate people and agencies in the health advocacy field. See her current articles.