News Release: Senior ID Theft is Increasing

June 07, 2013

Washington, D. C. — Pam Dixon testified at a US Federal Trade Commission workshop event regarding the challenges seniors and their caregivers have in detecting, preventing, and handling the aftermath of medical identity theft. Dixon discussed how the crime impacts seniors in larger proportions than other parts of the population, and discussed WPF’s latest research and work on assisting seniors and their caregivers in resolving issues related to this crime.

Dixon mentioned several key issues unique to Seniors:

Medicare cards are a risk point for seniors, she said. For many seniors, they are generally requested to showing or hand over their Medicare card as they get health care goods or services. Dixon said to be sure the health care provider was legitimate prior to handing over the card.

Ask CMS to send a listing of benefits paid to Medicare recipients proactively. Be sure the address on file is accurate. Any questionable bills are important to flag and follow up on.

Be especially wary of materials that advertise free clinic visits, free food, free rides, or free medication specifically for seniors. While some provision of transportation and other free services is fine, in some instances the word “free” is often associated with Medicare scammers. The key is to be watchful and cautious about “free.”


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