If you receive Medicare benefits, keep an eye on your mailbox. You will be getting a free replacement card in the mail from Medicare sometime in the next 12 months.
Medicare designed the new cards to prevent fraud. They include a new 11-digit identification number instead of your social security number. Medicare will send you these replacement cards automatically and at no cost to you.
However, this change is bringing about a new kind of fraud. Scammers are trying to take advantage of this change to trick Medicare recipients into paying for the cards or giving away personal information.
Do not get fooled. It’s a scam if anyone contacts you and:
- Asks you to pay for a new card
- Threatens to cut off your benefits if you don’t pay for a new card.
- Asks you to verify your personal information in order to get a new card.
If you get a phone call or an email or a text of this type, hang up the phone or simply do not respond. You can report Medicare scammers by calling 1-800-MEDICARE.