Scammers beware: BBB provides tips to spot Medicare fraud


LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) — The Better Business Bureau serving Western Michigan continues to warn people about the dangers of Medicare scams.

Katie Grevious, the Better Business Bureau serving Western Michigan Communications Specialist told News 8’s sister station, WLNS, the elderly are targeted and are more at risk for these types of scams.

There have been over 100 reported Medicare scams since 2015 to the Better Business Bureau serving Western Michigan.

Open enrollment began for Medicare on Oct. 15, and Grevious says it can be easy to fall victim to this fraud.

“(If) you get a phone call from someone claiming to be a Medicare representative, it’s a scam and you can just hang up,” Grevious said.

The Better Business Bureau recommends never giving out any personal information over the phone. The information could be bank account, social security and Medicare numbers.

Grevious says many times people will also try to scam by offering promotional gifts, which could be free health screenings in exchange for a Medicare number.

“You always want to guard that Medicare issued number, don’t give it out on the phone,” Grevious said. “If you give that number out you expose your identity which can open you up to identity theft.”

Grevious told WLNS many Medicare scams involve robocalls.

“The constant calls saying, ‘Hey we want to sign you up for better Medicare coverage, did you know you’re missing out on some benefits… give me your current Medicare number and your social security number,'” Grevious said.

Medical practices and government agencies will not give personal phone calls.

“It’s just best if you call them, then you know who you’re talking to, you know it’s a legitimate organization and you’re not accidentally falling for some sort of scam,” Grevious suggested.

If you see a scam, you should report it right away.

“If you come across these scams or you’ve fallen victim please make sure you report it to, report it to the better business bureau report it to the FTC,” Grevious said.

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