Automated calls, text messages or emails appear to be the preferred method used for these scams. Some claim to offer free face masks, COVID-19 testing kits, cures or other protective equipment.
The catch, however, appears to be that people are asked to provide their Medicare numbers or other personal information in exchange for these supposed offers.
“If anyone reaches out to get your Medicare number or personal information in exchange for something, you can bet it’s a scam,” the agency said in an email PSA.
On its website, www.medicare.gov/fraud, Medicare offers the following tips and guidelines to protect against potential scams and fraud:
- Medicare will never contact you for your Medicare number or other personal information unless you’ve given them permission in advance.
- Medicare will never call you to sell you anything.
- You may get calls from people promising you things if you give them a Medicare number. Don’t do it.
- Medicare will never visit you at your home.
- Medicare can’t enroll you over the phone unless you called first.
Those who experience or suspect fraud related to Medicare can call 1-800-MEDICARE to report it.