Crime - Sacto 911

Phone scam falsely claims Medicare beneficiaries must buy a temporary card

Sacramento County District Attorney Anne Marie Schubert is warning senior citizens of a card-related telephone scam targeting Medicare beneficiaries.
Sacramento County District Attorney Anne Marie Schubert is warning senior citizens of a card-related telephone scam targeting Medicare beneficiaries. hamezcua@sacbee.com

New Medicare cards are due to be mailed this spring, but Sacramento County District Attorney Anne Marie Schubert is warning senior citizens of a card-related telephone scam targeting Medicare beneficiaries.

Senior citizens are receiving calls from scammers advising them that their new Medicare card will arrive between April and June, which is true, according to a District Attorney's Office news release.. But the caller says beneficiaries must first buy a temporary card for $5 to $50 and provide personal information before they receive their new Medicare card, which is not true.

The District Attorney's Office notes that the new card will not include Social Security numbers. Beneficiaries are getting a new number and a new card with the same benefits, the news release said. After receiving the new card, recipients should shred the old card.

The Medicare cards are free, and Medicare will not call beneficiaries about the new card or number. The new cards will be mailed directly to beneficiaries at the address on file with Social Security. If beneficiaries need to update their mailing address, they can do so online, at https://www.ssa.gov/myaccount/, or by calling 800-772-1213.

Anyone who has received such calls or who knows someone who has been targeted by a Medicare-related phone scam is asked to call the Senior Medicare Patrol at 855-613-7080. For assistance with Medicare, call the Health Insurance Counseling and Advocacy Program, HICAP, at 800-434-0222 or see the website, https://cahealthadvocates.org/.

Information is available in several languages on the California Health Advocates website, https://cahealthadvocates.org/fraud-abuse/medicare-fraud-alerts/.

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