Medicare & Social Security Scams: What You Need to Know
Social Security scams continue to target seniors, and since 2020, the number of scam calls has increased. These scam callers are committing fraud towards seniors, and your safety matters to us. We want to ensure that you’re prepared to protect yourself from scams and that you know how to report scam callers.
What You Need to Know
- Social Security will never call you. If there is ever an issue with your account, you will receive a letter in the mail. You can verify any mail you receive from Social Security by calling them (1-800-772-1213) or going to your local Social Security office.
- While your Medicare insurance company may call you, they will never insist you pay the company right that minute over the phone. If in doubt, hang up and call your Medicare insurance company using the customer service number that is on your health insurance card. If you’re not sure what number to call, call your Medicare insurance agent.
- No one from Social Security, Medicare, or your Medicare insurance company will ever call you and threaten you with a lawsuit or jail time if you don’t pay them “immediately” over the phone. If anyone calls you and demands you pay them now, hang up and block that phone number.
- It is illegal for someone to call you and say that there is a new Medicare plan, product, or prescription drug on the market and request that you send them “your information right away to get access to these new benefits.” Likewise, it is illegal for anyone to knock on your front door and solicit Medicare plans or products. Hang up the phone or shut the door and alert your Medicare insurance provider.
When in Doubt
Hang up the phone as soon as possible and never call back an unknown phone number. It’s easy to get the phone numbers for Social Security, Medicare, your health plan(s), or the IRS, so call any of those legitimate phone numbers yourself to ask for an update on your account and question what a scammer told you over the phone.
You can contact your Medicare insurance agent any time you’re unsure about something. Your insurance agent can help you find the right phone number to call to verify if a call was legitimate. Please note that while agents aren’t allowed to call customer service on your behalf, they can be on the phone call with you to further clarify the situation.
In addition to contacting an agent, you can continue to get up to date information about Medicare or Social Security scams by following AARP’s Scam and Fraud Alerts or by following the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
How to Report Scams
If you believe a phone call was a scam, you can report it to the agency who the caller claimed to be from or you can call AARP’s Scam and Fraud helpline (877-908-3360) or report the scam to:
- Social Security
- Insurance Company: Call the customer service number on the back of your insurance card.
Have more questions?
We can help. Caress Insurance Agency, Inc. can answer your Healthcare and Medicare questions at no cost to you. We work with Scripps Affiliated Medical Groups to help answer your Medicare questions and provide you with the latest information on your Medicare insurance plans. Use our online tool to easily compare plans, get a custom quote, and talk to one of our agents: click here to get a quote in just minutes!