News is updated weekly from a variety of sources. Click the links to the stories below to enjoy reading from the original publishers.

Door-to-door insurance scams on the rise: The North Carolina Department of Insurance (NCDOI) has had reports of people going door to door telling residents that because they were between the ages of 50 and 85, they had been selected to receive free health insurance. NCDOI has also received reports that Medicare beneficiaries are getting calls saying their Medicare numbers have been suspended due to fraudulent activity. Read More

Attorney general warns of new Medicare scam: Scam artists are pretending to be calling from Medicare, claiming that Medicare is replacing paper cards with plastic cards with a chip or magnetic strip, and that they need the consumer to verify his or her Medicare number. Once the scammers have the person’s name and Medicare number, they can file fraudulent claims, send unnecessary medical devices to consumers and then bill Medicare, or even obtain prescription drugs in the victim’s name, which they then sell on the black market. Read More

Latest Medicare Scam: Chip Cards: If you’re on Medicare, be aware: You will not be receiving a new chip card to replace your paper ID card. If somebody tells you that, they’re lying. It’s the latest Medicare scam. A 73-year-old widow in a small town in North Dakota learned about it the hard way.. Read More

What to do when someone steals your identity: Did someone use your personal information to open up a new mobile account or credit card? Or maybe buy stuff with one of your existing accounts? Or did they file for unemployment or taxes in your name? That’s identity theft.  If any of this happened to you, the FTC wants to help you stop the damage and start recovering. Read More

Warnings for COVID-19 Schemes: Antibody testing, counterfeit personal protective equipment (PPE), unsolicited requests for Medicare information, “free” COVID-19 tests, and contact tracing are among the topics scammers are using. Be on the lookout for these and other schemes. Read More

Tips to help you avoid post-disaster scams: Whether you’re getting ready to deal with Laura or Marco, the storms about to hit the Gulf Coast, dealing with the ravages of wildfires out West, reeling from the derecho that struck the Midwest, or facing another natural disaster, handling the aftermath is never easy. But when scammers target people just trying to recover, it can be even worse. Here are some tips to help you avoid common post-disaster scams. Continue Reading

Identity Theft: How to Protect Yourself or Resolve It: Identity theft impacts more than 17 million consumers every year, and consumers over 50 can be particularly vulnerable. This year is on track to exceed the 780 data breaches of 2015, according to the Identity Theft Resource Center. But there are a few key ways to protect yourself from becoming an identity theft victim and taking action if your identity is stolen. Read More

NPR Discusses Signs Of “Contact Tracing” Scams: State officials and federal agencies warn there’s a new phone scam circulating: Some callers posing as COVID-19 contact tracers are trying to pry credit card or bank account information from unsuspecting victims.” The scammers “apparently are taking advantage of a genuine public health intervention that is crucial to stopping the spread of the novel coronavirus: contact tracing. Read More

Homes with Grandparents Weigh Virus Risk as School Starts: Students returning to the classroom causes great concern when a multi-generational household includes an elderly relative at higher risk of contracting the coronavirus. Read More

“Hospital-At-Home” Programs Growing During Pandemic: As hospitals care for people with COVID-19 and try to keep others from catching the virus, more patients are opting to be treated where they feel safest: at home.” Throughout the country, “‘hospital at home’ programs are taking off amid the pandemic, thanks to communications technology, portable medical equipment and teams of doctors, nurses, X-ray techs and paramedics. Continue Reading

Chiropractor, Practice Ordered to Pay $5 Million: A chiropractor and her medical practice have been ordered to pay more than $5 million to resolve a civil fraud complaint filed by the federal government. According to court documents, the United States alleges that the chiropractor and her medical practice violated the False Claims Act by submitting claims to Medicare for hundreds of surgical procedures involving implantable neurostimulators when, in actuality, the practice used an acupuncture device commonly referred to as a “P-Stim.” Read More

SMP Fraud Update

The SMP Fraud Update is a monthly newsletter with information on the latest scams, insight on how to protect yourself and stories about federal actions against fraudsters. Sign up below to get the SMP Fraud Update monthly via email.

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The Senior Medicare Patrol Project is supported by Grant #90-MP-0040/01 from the Administration on Aging, Department of Health and Human Services, Washington D.C. 20201