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Health Care Scams

How it works:

You see an ad on TV, telling you about a new law that requires you to get a new health care card.  Maybe you get a call offering you big discounts on health insurance.  Or maybe someone says they're from the government, and she needs your Medicare number to issue you a new card.

Scammers follow the headlines.  When it's Medicare open season, or when health care is in the news, they go to work with a new script.  Their goal? To get your Social Security number, financial information, or insurance number.

So take a minute to think before you talk: Do you really have to get a new health care card?  Is that discounted insurance a good deal?  Is that "government official" really from the government?  The answer to all three is almost always: No.

What you can do:

  1. Stop. Check it out.  Before you share your information, call Medicare (1-800-MEDICARE), do some research, and check with someone you trust.  What's the real story?
  2. Pass this information on to a friend. You probably saw through the requests. But chances are you know someone who could use a friendly reminder.