A fraud alert from Kathy Stokes, AARP Fraud Watch Network | View email online
Your Medical Identity is a Hot Commodity for Scammers
When we get medical care, we typically provide health insurance information. It’s something we expect, and it may not raise any red flags.
Unfortunately, scammers know this. And, with our health top of mind right now, they have no problem trying to take advantage. Their goal is to steal your medical identity — to fraudulently bill insurers or Medicare, or to sell it so others can get free care in your name.
How It Works
• Someone asks for your Medicare or insurance number as part of a health care “survey” or offer of free medical products or services.
• Scammers set up fake coronavirus testing sites in an attempt to get passersby to drive up and hand over health insurance or Medicare information.
• Criminals “dumpster dive” or steal mail looking for health insurance or Medicare information.
What You Should Know
• Medical identity theft can lead to huge financial losses and complications, including legal and medical costs, badly damaged credit, and aggressive medical debt collectors haranguing victims for years.
• If someone uses your medical identity to get treatment, it could result in treatment delays, incorrect prescriptions and even misdiagnoses for you.
What You Should Do
• Share your Medicare or health insurance information only with providers you know and trust — not with a stranger offering “free” medical care or equipment.
• Carefully review Medicare or health insurance statements and bills and report unauthorized charges immediately.
• Shred all paperwork related to your medical care before discarding it.
When it comes to fraud, vigilance is our number one weapon. You have the power to protect yourself and your loved ones from scams. Please share this alert with friends and family and visit the Fraud Watch Network.
AARP Fraud Watch Network
P.S. Are you active on social media? Do you enjoy sharing information that can help prevent friends and family from falling victim to scams? Become a volunteer AARP Fraud Watch Network (FWN) Digital Fraud Fighter! In exchange for simply sharing the same type of content with your friends and family that you already do, Digital Fraud Fighters will receive access to exclusive scam briefings, plus a Welcome Packet that includes a T-shirt, a copy of the FWN Con Artist’s Playbook, the FWN Watchdog Alert Handbook and more. Interested? Send us a note at FWN@aarp.org for more information!
To report a scam or for help if you or a loved one has fallen victim, contact the AARP Fraud Watch Network Helpline.
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