Wed. Dec 7th, 2022

According to the National Health Care Anti-Fraud Association, health care fraud costs the US $68 billion every year.

Fraudsters are always looking for ways to prey on citizens, using phone and technology scams to steal personal information. Medicare fraud and abuse usually target the elderly. With ever-advancing technology, scammers can lure them into sharing their Medicare numbers.

Once they have Medicare numbers, they’re well on their way to full identity theft. In this post, we’re going to help you better understand these scams so you can prevent Medicare fraud from happening to you or your loved ones. The best prevention method is knowledge.

Free Offers and Incentives

The most common Medicare fraud cases involve enticing people with free offers or incentives. Offering medical equipment, such as braces, canes, or crutches, at no cost – and under the guise of professionalism – seems to affect the elderly the most.

Once an offer is accepted, the scammer just has to get the victim’s Medicare number, and the job is done. They’re often extremely believable, and in some cases, the scammers may claim to be referred by the victim’s doctor.

In order to avoid scams of this nature, be wary of anyone claiming to be giving out free medical equipment. A Medicare representative would never solicit you in this manner. This is one of the most obvious signs of scammers.

Bogus Prescriptions

Scammers will also work in cahoots with health professionals, having them contact people they’ve never met before. These immoral doctors will then perform a “medical consultation,” asking the victim a series of general questions, like “do you experience pain?” or “are you sleeping well?”

Sometimes the doctor won’t even be present. Instead, a scammer will perform the consultation, then one or two doctors will write hundreds of fake prescriptions. Medicare numbers are then obtained.

As the telemedicine industry grows, so does the prevalence of these types of scams. The simplest way to combat this fraud is to never accept a prescription from a doctor you’ve never met. This is not how telemedicine is designed to work.

How Technology Scams Work

There are a variety of tactics that technology scammers use to make themselves believable. Aside from phone calls and fake medical consultations, you see a lot of this done via email.

You may receive an email that looks like it’s a Medicare email. These emails may ask you to update your financial records or say you’re entitled to a refund of some sort. These are phishing emails that are designed to look like official Medicare emails in order to get you to take a certain action.

Again, Medicare will never email you unless you contact them first. Phishing is one of the most common scamming methods across every industry. They’re particularly dangerous for the elderly, who are less experienced with recognizing email scams.

Avoiding Medicare Fraud and Abuse

Now that you understand more about Medicare fraud and abuse, you’ll be in a much better position. There are bad actors in this world, and with advances in technology, they’ll always try new ways to get your money. Take note of what we’ve discussed here, and you’ll be able to avoid being taken advantage of.

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