Oklahoma Insurance Department Warns Against Medicare Scam

Tuesday, November 13th 2012, 6:34 pm
By: News 9

Officials have a warning about a new phone scam being reported all over the state. The Oklahoma Insurance Department says it's getting complaints about people claiming to be from Medicare to get money and personal information.

It's a big problem especially right now because it's time for Medicare enrollment, and more than 600,000 Oklahomans qualify.

The people behind the calls are telling seniors they need new Medicare ID cards, but the Oklahoma Insurance Department says it's all a scam.

The Oklahoma Insurance Department gets a lot of calls this time of year to its Medicare Assistance Program..

"Unfortunately, we're also getting calls from beneficiaries who are hearing from unscrupulous individuals who are wanting to convince them that Medicare is sending out new Medicare ID cards," Medicare Assistance Director Ray Walker said.

Walker says thieves are calling seniors and asking for their Medicare number or bank account information to get a new, plastic Medicare ID card.

"Unfortunately, we have Medicare beneficiaries who are doing that, and it's a scam," Walker said.

Walker says a Medicare card is just as good to a thief as your credit card.

"They can take that and generate medical claims to Medicare to be processed, and before you know it, thousands and thousands of dollars in medical claims have been sent to Medicare to processed," Walker said.

The Insurance Department want to remind seniors that Medicare won't call and ask for your personal information.

Also, be aware that information you do provide over the phone could be brokered to telemarketers through third parties, and never pay for services in advance.

The Insurance Department relies on beneficiaries to fight Medicare fraud.

If you get one of these calls, try to get as much information from the so-called company calling you, so you can report it.

Medicare fraud is a $60 billion a year industry.

To report a scam to the insurance department, call 1-800-763-2828.