How to Protect against COVID-19 Scams through Medicare Fraud

Whether it’s health concerns, financial worries, or only a desire to help others, many of us are feeling strong emotions right now. Unfortunately, that opens the door for con artists who wish to take advantage of the situation, and coronavirus-related scams are on the rise. Learn how to recognize signs of a scam so that you can protect your money and identity.

Medicare scams: Medicare will ever call you and ask for your Medicare number or other identifying information unless you have called them first. Medicare will not enroll you over the phone unless you call Medicare, and a Medicare representative will not come to your door.

Think twice before purchasing any advertised treatments or preventive against coronavirus. At this time, the FDA has not approved any drug or vaccine for use against Covid-19. Anyone trying to sell you such a product is a scammer preying upon your fear. They might want to bill Medicare for this “service,” but are likely just trying to obtain your Medicare number from you.

The FDA did approve one home test, but it will be available through a doctor’s order. So no, you can’t just order a home test online or through someone who solicits you on the phone.

Check your Medicare Summary Notices regularly, and report any claims that you don’t recognize. Those could be an indication that someone is fraudulently using your number.

Suspicious phone calls or emails: It is important to remember that the IRS never calls (they only send letters in the mail) and won’t ask for information via email, either.

If you qualify for an economic impact payment, they don’t need any information to further “qualify” you. Anyone asking for that information is likely a con artist. These con artists only want access to your data or bank account (or both). The IRS determines your eligibility for a payment based upon your 2018 or 2019 tax return, so as long as you filed a tax return, you don’t need to do anything else.

Those who filed taxes electronically will receive a payment directly deposited into their bank accounts. Otherwise, those who file their taxes by mail will receive their check in the mail.

If you wish to check the status of a potential impact payment or provide your bank account information, go to the IRS website directly at www.irs.gov/coronavirus

Remember, if something sounds suspicious, it probably is. Hang up the phone or skip that email, and contact your Agent. ECOS Medicare Solutions is always available to answer your concerns. Use the contact page to ask your questions.

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