Fraud Fighters: Medicare Open Enrollment scams and pressure tactics

Fraud Fighters

MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — Joining us this morning is Jamie Harding with AARP Alabama, Chad Petri talked to her over Zoom last week.

Medicare open enrollment is underway now. Scammers are looking for ways to trick you into parting with your money and or personal information. We talk about the scams you should look for, starting with anyone who tries to trick you by saying they have a “limited time offer.”

Guest: what happens is they get a phone call or sometimes people go door to door and say we’re going to offer you a gift or incentive if you switch your plan or you give us personal information like a Medicare account number and that sort of thing, that is a scam for sure, whether it’s a legit insurance company or someone you don’t know, never fall for any kind of high pressure tactic, Medicare they are never going to go door to door or call you up and pressure you in that way

Anchor: Another scam is the refund scam, how does that work?

Guest: That involves getting a phone call from someone claiming to be from medicare and saying you overpaid your premium last year and we need to send you a refund, so to get it we need your Medicare account number and bank information. This is a double whammy, you give them your bank information they can raid that obviously, and they can use your Medicare card number and place fraudulent charges on it. So this is a double bad scam, beware of refunds, there’s no such thing

Anchor: Also pushy sales people, how do they get involved in the scam?

Guest: We’ve gotten complaints from members already who have said they got a proposal on coverage from a legitimate insurance company and didn’t realize when they accepted that proposal they were accepting that they were going to change to that company. They didn’t find out until they went to their doctor’s office and found out their insurance had been changed so be very careful about contact with a salesperson, even from a legit company, we don’t want you to make any hasty decisions. If you need help with this we recommend talking to a trusted family member or contact the Alabama Department of Senior Services they can offer unbiased counseling and information on what you should do based on what your current coverage and needs are for next year, get unbiased advice, don’t get advice from someone trying to sell you something even if they are with a legitimate company.

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