AUSTIN, Texas - Open enrollment is underway, and the BBB scam tracker has already received numerous reports of scam calls pretending to be from Medicare.
"It’s big business for Medicare plans, for sales, independent agents, brokers know this, and so do cybercriminals at the same time," said Jason Meza, senior director of media relations & community engagement for the Better Business Bureau serving the Heart of Texas.
If you have questions about your enrollment status, visit the official website for Medicare, HealthCare.gov or your employer’s health insurance provider.
If you're receiving unsolicited calls, emails or texts, that’s a red flag.
"Medicare ID numbers are going out the door and that's like money in your wallet. Once it's gone, it's out there," said Meza. "If it’s compromised, there's a good chance somebody may be enrolling in your name on your behalf, getting benefits, seeing doctors, getting prescriptions, using your Medicare ID plan."
According to the BBB, Medicare and HealthCare.gov may provide legitimate help through ‘navigators’ or ‘assisters,’ but they cannot charge for their support. If someone asks you for payment, it's a scam.
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Also, be wary of free offers like "health screenings."
"Guard your Medicare ID number, guard your government-issued numbers, anything that's tied to your name," said Meza. "Really hold on to that, double check, pause, delete, hang up and kindly do the work yourself before you accept the bargain deal."
Open enrollment runs through Dec. 7 for Medicare and Dec. 15 for HealthCare.gov.
To report a scam to the BBB, click here.
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