95.3 / 88.5 FM Grand Rapids and 95.3 FM Muskegon
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

MDHSS to seniors: watch out for scammers during Medicare enrollment period

Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal Public Domain
Top of the List

Criminals often take advantage of older persons, posing as employees and stealing money or identity

With the Medicaid enrollment period set to begin, officials are warning Michigan’s seniors to be on alert for scams and high-pressure tactics.

The Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services (DIFS) and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) are reminding older persons that scammers often take advantage of seniors during the Medicare open enrollment period, and while they may sound professional, say they’re from Medicare, and have seniors detailed information, in reality, they’re just criminals trying to steal money or one’s identity.

According to a release sent out Tuesday by both departments Medicare participants, and those enrolling for the first time, can protect themselves by not giving out personal information, including their Medicare or Social Security Number, to anyone who tries to solicit their business over the phone, online, or at their front door.

Scammers often use specific tactics on the elderly in order for the con to work---officials say that persons posing as enrollment specialists can change their caller ID to read Medica, force people to make quick decisions, or threaten to take one’s benefits away if they do not cooperate.

Seniors can be vigilant against these tactics, hanging up on anyone who asks for their Medicare, Social Security, bank, or credit card information. And do not talk to anyone that suggests their plan is preferred by Medicare. Medicare doesn’t endorse any particular plan.

Enrollment begins October 15th and Runs through December 7th

Related Content
  • Beth Givens, director of the Privacy Rights Clearinghouse, discusses the recent spate of security breaches at consumer data banks. Computer hackers accessed consumer data at ChoicePoint and Lexis-Nexis. The Privacy Rights Clearinghouse is a consumer advocacy group based in San Diego.
  • Employment scams were the “riskiest” scams in 2018. That from the Better Business Bureau of Western Michigan. It’s most recent report shows employment…
  • West Michigan authorities are warning of a new phone scam.The Muskegon Public Safety Office says scammers are calling residents, claiming to be from…