Waynesboro Police warn residents of Medicare scam

phone scamThe Waynesboro Police Department has gotten complaints from citizens indicating they have received suspicious phone calls from individuals claiming to be from the Medicare office.

This is another type of popular phone scam that is occurring nationwide.  In one case that the Police Department has dealt with, the citizen is asked for his/her Medicare information over the phone because Medicare was “updating their information.”  In another, a citizen was called about a topical pain cream that they would be sent to deal with chronic pain and they simply needed their Medicare information.  The citizen in this case was only 47 years old and recognized the call was a scam.

AARP reports that “Legitimate health care practitioners don’t go around fishing for clients. Nor do they collect Medicare numbers over the phone.”

AARP offers the following tips to avoid being a victim of Medicare frauds.

  • Know your Medicare coverage. Offers for free medicine or medical equipment are probably scams.
  • Be as cautious with your Medicare card as you are with your credit card. Never give your Medicare number to a stranger, especially over the phone.
  • Be wary of medical suppliers who contact you out of the blue. Legitimate companies don’t use that sales tactic.
  • Your personal physician should participate in medical decisions. Never allow a doctor you’ve never met to prescribe any medications, medical equipment or home health care services.
  • Review your monthly Medicare statement to see if it contains billing charges that seem suspicious.
  • Report activity that you think might be fraudulent to Medicare via the website stopmedicarefraud.gov or by phone: 800-MEDICARE (633-4227) or 877-486-2048 (TTY line). The Department of Health and Human Services also has a special antifraud hotline: 800-HHS-TIPS (447-8477) or TTY 800-377-4950.