Avoiding scams during the holidays and keeping your personal information secure may be a challenge. One recent scam targets seniors and involves Medicare and the implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
The United States Senate Special Committee on Aging recently released the short list of ways seniors can protect themselves from scams related to Medicare and the ACA. If you have Medicare, you do not need to purchase insurance through the exchanges. However, according to the Committee, overlap of Medicare open enrollment and enrollment in the exchanges has created confusion, leading to opportunities for scammers.
The Committee recommends the following tips to avoid becoming a victim of identity theft and/or fraud:
- Protect your personal information and be suspicious of solicitations.
- Know that Medicare will never call you at home.
- Use only official websites.
- Report suspected fraud to the Federal Trade Commission.
- Ask questions – contact Medicare or visit stopmedicarefraud.gov and Senior Medicare Patrol at smpresource.org
Perpetrators are adept at coaxing people to give up information. Even the savviest can fall victim to scams. By following these simple guidelines seniors can be in control and avoid these scams.
[The full article by the Senate Special Committee on Aging can be found on their website: www.aging.senate.gov.]