12 May Medicare’s New Chip Card Spawns New Scams
Many of Guideway’s clients are seniors who are either creating or updating their Living Trusts. A recent conversation about scams is a window into just how hard crooks are working to steal money from vulnerable people—especially the elderly. The latest scam? Medicare is rolling out a new plastic card that will replace the old paper card. It has a microchip that encrypts transactions for greater data security.
Sadly, scammers are all over the transition to the new Medicare card
“They’re on the move, developing ways to take advantage of any confusion that may be related to the transition,” the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) warned as the new cards were being rolled out. Be aware of these scams and make sure family members who are on Medicare understand how the new card is to be used.
Some scammers are asking beneficiaries to pay for their new Medicare card; others are threatening to cancel people’s health coverage if they don’t share their new number. The card is a free replacement—there is no charge. The FCC said that stolen data could be used to file fake claims, fill prescriptions or be sold on the dark web.
Sometimes scammers promise free services or equipment, such as a back or neck brace, in exchange for Medicare information. They may reference new policies or updates. The best way to protect yourself: Remember that no government agency makes personal calls or makes free offers. Not Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, the IRS, the DMV. Not ever.
Website domain name scam
I encountered a scam that I want to share—a new one for me. I created a website for a friend a few years ago and he forwarded an email warning him to renew his domain name and pay for it immediately or he would lose the name altogether. There was contact information where he could use his credit card to pay. I logged into his GoDaddy account, and sure enough, he was all paid up. No crisis—just another scam.
The thing to keep in mind is that no legitimate organization operates in this manner. For all of these scams, there is an immediacy—you have to do this right now—before common sense takes over and you realize that you’re being conned. The IRS never makes threatening personal phone calls. GoDaddy has fabulous customer service—they’re not in the business of making alarming announcements to their customers.
How preposterous is this scam? Does a seven-year old car ever have a warranty?
My car is in great shape and paid for, but it’s seven years old, and I get a phone call at least once every few weeks trying to get me to engage in a scam about my car warranty–which has long since expired. They want me to log in and give them my credit card information to extend my warranty. A seven-year old vehicle does not qualify for a warranty. Ever.
Avoiding imposter scams
If you’re unsure about the legitimacy of calls you receive, contact the FTC.gov/complaint or 800-MEDICARE. Be vocal. Tell your friends and family members about these scams so they’ll be alert to potential deceit. They prey on our confusion. Don’t be conned.
Is it time to update your Living Trust?
If you created your Living Trust eight or more years ago, there’s a good chance there’s a lot that has happened—births, deaths, divorce, investments and new jobs. Our Trust package includes a Power of Attorney, an Advance Healthcare Directive and a Will. We guide you through the process and we prepare the legal documents. Schedule an appointment with Guideway today. We guide you through it and we prepare the legal documents.
We service the entire East Bay and North Bay areas
Berkeley, El Cerrito, Richmond, Pinole, Alameda, San Leandro, Castro Valley Newark, San Lorenzo, Concord, Alamo, Danville, Lafayette, Orinda, Moraga, Pleasant Hill, Martinez, Pittsburg, Antioch, Brentwood, Oakley, Discovery Bay, Pleasanton, San Ramon, Livermore, Tracy and Fremont. Our clients also live in the Napa Valley, Benicia, Vallejo, Martinez, Fairfield.