Medicare began a long-overdue policy of removing Social Security numbers from Medicare cards and replacing them with unique 11-digit numbers. Unfortunately, this is leading to a new set of scams, described here. One new scam is for callers to say the beneficiary has to pay a fee to receive the new card. The cards will be sent free to beneficiaries between April 2018 and April 2019.
One study by the Ponemon Institute found the number of cases of medical identity theft jumped more than 21 percent in just one year, costing the average victim $13,500 to fix. It’s also one of the top complaints, according to the Federal Trade Commission.
With Medicare, as a rule, you will not be contacted over the phone — all communication is sent through the mail — so it is never OK to give out any personal data to a caller, particularly your Social Security number or banking information.