(RNN) – The official U.S. Government website for Medicare, Medicare.gov, announced they would begin sending replacement cards to Medicare recipients starting this April.
The agency is making the switch as an attempt to make seniors less vulnerable to fraud by replacing the recipient’s Social Security number, which is printed on the card and doubles as their account number, with a new Medicare Number.
Your #NewMedicareCard will automatically come to you. You don’t need to do anything as long as your address is up-to-date. If you need to update your address, log in to your my Social Security account or visit your local @SocialSecurity office. https://t.co/O23UIZMwPK pic.twitter.com/M8wouMUdSZ— Medicare.gov (@MedicareGov) April 4, 2018
However, instead of making seniors less vulnerable, the change ignited scammers as they are now using the new card release to target seniors with phising scams.
Medicare dedicated a portion of its website for seniors, with information on how to avoid getting scammed.
The agency said no one from Medicare would ever call seniors uninvited asking questions to get new Medicare number and card information.
Scam artists may try to get personal information, under the guise of contacting seniors about their new card or stating that their identity has been stolen and that they must provide their social security number to confirm their identity.
Scammers don’t take holidays—including #AprilFoolsDay. Don’t give out your #Medicare card number or other personal information to someone unless you’ve given them permission in advance. More ways to prevent fraud: https://t.co/paxF86vh5t pic.twitter.com/uAfDnaVEtJ— Medicare.gov (@MedicareGov) April 1, 2018
All of these, the agency revealed, should raise red flags and they are urging seniors to hang up and call Medicare at 1-800-MEDICARE or 1-800-633-4227.
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services is required to remove Social Security Numbers from all Medicare cards by April 2019 and is mailing out new Medicare cards on a flow basis, which is based on geographic location and other factors.
NEW BLOG: Want to know when new cards start mailing to your area? Visit https://t.co/cYBiXvYMWy and sign up to get email alerts from #Medicare. #NewMedicareCard https://t.co/XnJksxwD2n pic.twitter.com/r1W6z8xRBi— Medicare.gov (@MedicareGov) April 2, 2018
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