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On Medicare? beware of COVID card scam


Senior News

Have you received a phone call asking if you’ve received your new “special” Medicare COVID card? Beware: There is no such thing. It’s a scam.

I did receive such a call. The person on the other end asked if I’d received my new card, which I’d heard nothing about, and proceeded to try to ask me a number of questions. She claimed there are a lot of fancy benefits that come with the COVID card.

In the name of research for this column, I did not hang up immediately as I usually do. Instead, I went along with the caller, listening but not providing any information. I asked where they’d gotten my name and was told they were accessing the Medicare database. I was quickly convinced it was a scam.

I hung up and called the Medicare fraud line to report it. The fraud people were very glad I did.

Other forms of COVID scams include offering fast eligibility for the vaccine, fake vaccine sign-up websites, fake testing and wellness kits, and fake contact tracers who want to know your Medicare card number .

Fact: There is no new Medicare card for COVID.

Fact: Medicare isn’t going to call you about anything unless you have called or written to them and asked them to contact you by phone.

If you receive a call such as the one I got, hang up immediately and then call to report it. Call 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227), or HHS at 1-800-447-8477.

As for the fancy benefits the caller promised me, check your Medicare Summary Notice or Explanation of Benefits to be sure there are no errors for items and services that you do not get.

This might be the newest scam against seniors, so spread the word among your friends. There is no “special” Medicare card for COVID.

(c) 2021 King Features Synd.icate Inc.

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