March 2020 Fraud Prevention Fact
For the March Fraud Fact, the Missouri SMP (Senior Medicare Patrol) is renewing its call to beware of potential fraud as the U.S. Census gets under way this month. Most households will receive a post card in the mail inviting them to participate in the U.S. Census.
The preferred method of replying to the Census will be online, and the instructions will be on the post card. People who do not want to reply online have the option to reply by phone. Unfortunately, imposters may contact you as well. One way they may do that is through a phishing email. Phishing is a crime in which someone tries to get your information by pretending to be someone else. These emails often direct you to a fake website, and that website may be infected by malware. The Census Bureau will not send unsolicited emails to request your participation Also, the Census Bureau will never ask for your Social Security number, bank account number, Medicare information, credit card numbers, money or donations. The Census Bureau also does not represent any political party.
The Census Bureau eventually will visit households if they receive no response to the mailed invitation to reply online or on the phone. That should not happen until mid-May. If someone visits your home to collect a response for the 2020 Census, you can make sure they have a valid ID badge, with their photograph, a U.S. Department of Commerce watermark, and an expiration date. If you still question their identity or suspect fraud, call 800-923-8282 to speak with a local Census Bureau representative.
As always, report suspected Medicare fraud to the Missouri SMP at