medicareIf you have an elderly relative or family member, make sure you warn them of a scam that could cost them their identity or money. The Better Business Bureau said seniors nationwide are reporting a Medicare phone scam.

How the Medicare phone scam works

The caller allegedly says he / she is with Medicare and that a new card is in the mail. In the meantime, you need to set up your direct deposit so your Medicare funds can be deposited. To do this, you need to give your banking information. That gives the scammer access to the senior’s financial information.  

Tips to protect yourself and loved ones

Other Medicare ripoffs happen when the senior is asked to verify their information. If anyone calls you to verify information, hang up, and call the back directly to make sure it is legitimate. Unfortunately, Medicare still uses Social Security numbers as the account or member number. So don’t give that information out or your identity could be at risk.

Medicare really needs to change the number on the cards. It’s a risk to use social security numbers as a Medicare ID number. I advise seniors to keep their Medicare card at home and only take it when they have a scheduled appointment because if the senior loses their wallet or purse, their identity could be at risk.

Help family members

While some of this may seem like common sense, it’s important to review the details of this latest ripoff with family members and senior friends. Make sure they don’t put themselves at risk.

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I think seniors would be less vulnerable if more family members made it their priority to look over the individual’s finances.