October 19, 2023 • 3 mins
Health insurance and Medicare insurance scams are becoming more common as scammers look for new ways to steal your money and personal information. They do use similar techniques, so you can protect yourself by learning the common warning signs.
Government agencies won’t call you out of the blue and ask you for money or personal information – no one from the government will call and ask for your Social Security number, bank account information, card information, or for you to send gift cards, cryptocurrency, or wire transfers.
Scammers may contact you and ask for a fee for a variety of things. A common scam is saying that you need to pay a fee for a new Medicare card or you will lose your Medicare coverage. Medicare will never call you for something like this – and you will never need to pay money for a new card.
There is a such thing as a real medical discount plan – which charges a monthly fee for discounts on specific medical services or products from specific providers. (They’re not a substitute for health insurance.)
While some medical discount plans do provide legitimate discounts, others take your money and offer little or nothing in return. Research all the details before signing up – and make sure to do an internet search of the discount plan to see others’ experience with it.
Official government sites (like healthcare.gov) and legitimate health insurance companies let you compare prices and check your eligibility for health insurance. Typically, they only ask for information like your monthly income and your age to give you a price quote.
Never enter personal financial information like your Social Security number, bank account or credit card numbers, or other sensitive info to get a quote for health insurance. You could be setting yourself up for identity theft.
There are people and companies that offer legitimate help with the official Health Insurance Marketplace (at healthcare.gov) and other similar healthcare comparison and shopping sites. (They’re sometimes called Navigators or Assisters).1
These helpers are not allowed to charge you money for this assistance up front, and can’t ask you for your personal or financial information. If you’re being asked for money or sensitive information, it’s probably a scammer and not a real helper.
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Don’t be fooled by a scammer. Look for these warning signs to identify a possible scam and protect yourself!
If you’ve been affected by an online scam, it’s important to notify your bank and government agencies that track and investigate these crimes. Follow these steps to recover from the fraud.