INDIANAPOLIS – Medicare is warning beneficiaries about the relentless efforts of scammers who are trying to steal their money, as well as the potential traps of “Medicare Advantage.

Right now, there are about 65 million Medicare beneficiaries in the US. However, if you combine those with everyone on Medicaid, CHIP, and marketplace plans, that number goes up to about 160, million. That is a tempting number of potential victims for scammers.

Lakers games often pop up during open enrollment and can also get a wrapped up in impersonation scams.  Show me even go so far as offering DNA tests to try to get someone’s Medicare credentials. Those credentials are like a golden ticket for scanners who are looking to profit on the dark web. 

To protect yourself, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) says you should protect your Medicare number like it’s your Social Security number.  Only share your Medicare number with a trusted health care provider. You should also become familiar with her Medicare uses someone’s private information.  If you do join a Medicare health or drug plan, the plan will let you know exactly how your personal information will be used.

Those policies regarding your private information are listed here on the CMS website.

Also, if a celebrity, like William Shatner or Joe Namath comes on TV advertising “Medicare Advantage,” they have to clearly state the insurance plan they’re advertising.  CMS says if you see a pitch using the MEDICARE logo, the marketing company is probably trying to fool customers into believing that a celebrity endorser represents the federal government.  The use of those logos will be disallowed starting September 30.