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