Medicare is a social insurance program that provides health insurance to people. It is the only insurance company that requires your social security number as an identifying number of the card they give. Due to the presence of this vital number in your Medicare card, identity thieves have determined as a significant source of information. This is especially supported by the fact that different types of Medicare card scam happen to an increasing number of people.
To spare your Medicare card from being targeted by identity thieves, here are a few tips you must follow:
Bring only the copy of your Medicare card It is greatly recommended that you do not bring your Medicare card with you. Instead, leave it safely at your house where nobody can gain access to it. When your schedule to visit to the health care provider comes, you just make a copy of your Medicare card. You then black out the last four digits of your social security number and you can use this copy when having your regular check-ups.
Do not give out your Medicare information A certain Medicare card scam includes the sending of e-mail messages or phoning potential victims to ask for their Medicare identifying number. They would give you a reason that your social security number is needed so that its benefits can be paid. The Medicare insurance company does not perform this seemingly standard operation in dealing with their clients.
Report any suspicious calls you receive As mentioned above, never give your Medicare card information to anyone. One scam includes someone pretending to be your physician and requests for your social security number. Doctors are not allowed to do this unless you are in their office for a scheduled appointment. Phone 1-800-MEDICARE to report this kind of call. You could also call this number if you have inquiries on when it is applicable to disclose your Medicare identifying number or when you need to confirm if any demand of information is genuine. It is further emphasized to never give your social security number if you have not validated the request of information.
Suspecting identity theft If you think that your identification has been compromised, phone the three major credit monitoring companies through the following numbers: TransUnion : 800-680-7289 Experian : 888-397-3742 Equifax : 800-525-6285
In addition, according to the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act of 2003, you are entitled for a free credit monitoring service from each company each year. Also, if you call one of these agencies, they are obliged to call the other two companies. Thus, with the help of the free printed credit reports, you can thoroughly review your credit history for any disputes and suspicious activities.
If you have confirmed that you have been a victim of identity theft, in addition to calling all three credit monitoring agencies, you should also contact the concerned financial companies. You must also phone the appropriate authorities, such as the Federal Trade Commission's Identity Theft, by calling them at 877-438-4338.