Healthcare Scams

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A Podcast by BBB of the Tri-Counties

A BIG thank you to Ayers Automotive Repairs in Santa Barbara for supporting this podcast.

Welcome to this week’s edition of Your Moment of Trust! Healthcare scams are as
varied as just about any con out there. The fraudster often poses as a government
authority to persuade you to provide personal information related to your Medicare or
Medicaid account for identity theft. In other cases, the con artist is after your health
insurance, Medicaid, or Medicare information to submit fraudulent medical charges.

How the scam works:

The scam typically starts with an email, text message, or phone call that appears to be
from a government agency. Con artists use a variety of stories. In one common version,
the “agent” tells you that he or she needs to update account information to send a new
medical card. In another version, the scammer asks for your account number in
exchange for free equipment or services. A third version involves a threatening robocall
purporting to be from or the Health Insurance Marketplace. You’re told
you must buy health insurance or face a fine. Sure enough, you’re soon asked to
provide personal information. A more recent version has reported Medicare recipients
receiving notices that new Medicare cards with microchips will be sent out and further
verification is required.

Tips to avoid this scam:

● Don’t trust a name or number. Con artists use official-sounding names or mask
their area codes by spoofing to make you trust them. Don’t fall for it.
● Hang up and go to official websites. You can enroll or re-enroll in Medicare at or a marketplace health plan at
● Never share personally identifiable information with someone who has contacted
you unsolicited, whether over the phone, by email, or on social media. This
includes banking and credit card information, your birthdate, Social Security or
Social Insurance number, and, of course, your health insurance number.
● Guard your government-issued numbers. Never offer your Medicare ID number,
Social Security number, health plan info, or banking information to anyone you
don’t know.
● Know the signs. Medicare will never contact you via email, text message, or
phone, asking you to verify personal information.

Until next time!

Check out this episode!

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