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Avoid Bank Fraud and Other Scams

Have you heard about Medicare Fraud Awareness Week? If not, now is the time to learn about it. This year, it is the week containing June 5 (6/5), and runs from June 3 to June 9. The reason for this is that most folks become eligible for Medicare when they turn sixty-five (65). Get it? Medicare fraud costs Medicare over 60 billion dollars a year. The result is higher premiums for everyone.

This end game is especially important when even fraudulent schemes that do not directly relate to Medicare serve to deprive folks of the money they need to pay their Medicare premiums. This article aims to highlight a particular fraudulent bank scheme that is on the rise to make you aware of it, so you can avoid falling victim to the scheme.

The scheme in question is called the “bank impersonation scam.” The way the scam works is simple. Someone calls pretending to be from your bank. They may even use a spoofed number to make it look like the official bank number. The person says that your account is being hacked and offers to help. They attempt to convince you to move your money into a different and safe account. However, the account isn’t safe. And it wasn’t your bank calling. It was a fraudster.

Moreover, if you close your account afterwards to prevent future fraud, Social Security won’t automatically have your bank account information for direct deposit of your Social Security checks. This is because you must always update your records with Social Security within 10 days of the change, including bank account information. That’s right. Social Security won’t update your records for you. You need to do it yourself.

So, how do you protect yourself from this scam? The answer is simple. Do not engage in these calls. If someone calls claiming to be from your bank and you are not expecting the call, simply hang up. If you want to verify the veracity of the call, call your bank back at a phone number you know is real. But don’t simply press the return call button. Instead, manually dial the number for your bank. This will prevent your return call from going right back to the fraudsters.

So, how does this relate to Medicare. The answer is simple. If you don’t have money because a fraudster drained your bank account, then you don’t have money to pay Medicare premiums. For those of you who don’t have Medicare premiums deducted from your Social Security check, you may be billed for Medicare. If you don’t pay in a timely manner, you might run the risk of losing your Medicare coverage. Don’t let that happen to you.

If you need to learn more about Medicare fraud and how to report it, call Benefits in Action. We are a Senior Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP) site. Our unbiased SHIP counselors can provide information about Medicare fraud. Not only that, but Benefits in Action also provides a host of other services as well. So, if you are interested in learning more about Medicare fraud or the other services provided by Benefits in Action, call 720-221-8354 or email Until next month, stay healthy and stay safe.

Eric Gonzalez is a Social Security Certified Non-Attorney Representative working with Benefits in Action.

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