Don't Fall For These Scams

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                             May 2020 Fraud Prevention Fact 


The Missouri SMP (Senior Medicare Patrol) reminds you to watch out for scams related to the coronavirus, also known as COVID-19. Scammers are targeting older adults. Fraudsters are attempting to bill Medicare for sham tests or treatments related to the coronavirus. They also are targeting individuals to illegally obtain money or Medicare numbers. Here’s how to protect yourself: 


  • Do not give out your Medicare number to anyone other than your doctor, health care provider, or other trusted representative. 


  • Protect your Medicare number and treat your Medicare card like a credit card. Never provide your Medicare number to anyone who contacts you through unsolicited calls, texts, or emails. 


  • Be cautious of anyone who comes to your door offering free coronavirus testing, treatment, or supplies. 


  • Don’t click on online links from sources you don’t know, which could put your computer or device at risk. Make sure the anti-malware and anti-virus software on your computer are up to date. 


  • Be cautious when purchasing medical supplies from unverified sources, including online advertisements and email/phone solicitations. Ignore online offers for vaccinations. If you see ads touting prevention products or cures for COVID-19, they are most likely a scam. 


  • Do your homework before donating to a charity or crowdfunding site due to a public health emergency. Be particularly wary of any charities requesting donations by cash, by gift card, or wire transfer. 


  • Be alert to “investment opportunities.” The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is warning people about online promotions, including on social media, claiming that the products or services of publicly traded companies can prevent, detect, or cure COVID-19 and that the stock of these companies will dramatically increase in value as a result. 


As always, report suspected Medicare fraud to the Missouri SMP at 1-888-515-6565.