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Mary Rose Brown

March 18, 2018
Reinbeck Courier

Dear Editor,

This letter is to the attention of all people who are on social security and care givers of family members. We have to be on alert to all the scams out there. As a senior citizen, I?hope you will take time to read this. It could save you dollars and lots of stress! I am a former 20 year volunteer of AARP and served as state coordinator for the senior issues program.

I know as we get older, we meet many challenges and can never be too informed.

Medicare scam

This change is coming up. Do not give out information over the phone. This is pretty important to get to people with Medicare, their families and friends, or adult kids who help parents with Medicare.

Here's what you need to know to protect yourself, family and friends throughout the U.S. Starting April 1, 2018 Medicare will start a year long project to replace all current Medicare cards for beneficiaries to convert to alphanumeric ID?numbers. Currently the ID number is your social security number. First of all the new Medicare card will come to you in the mail. You don't need to request it or do anything. It will show up.

This is starting to hit the media. Scammers are opportunistic.

So, what's the scam? Somebody claiming to be from Medicare will call to tell you that you are getting a new Medicare card, but until it comes, you will need a temporary card. Fee for the card is between $5 - $50. They want personal information, bank account or credit card info so they can process your temporary card.

Things to remember: Medicare will never call you unless you ask them to. Medicare does all communications by mail unless you ask them to call. Ditto for anyone saying they work with Medicare to make sure you get everything you're entitled to.

How to protect yourself: First of all, spread the word. Feel free to share these notes. Use your answering machine to screen calls or just don't answer a number you don't recognize. If it has happened to you or your friends or loved ones and personal info has been given out (happens considerably more often than you think so don't feel bad or stupid) immediately take action to protect yourself against identity theft.


Mary Rose Brown

Iowa Falls, Iowa



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