Medical identity theft occurs when someone steals your personal information (like your name, Social Security number, or Medicare number) to obtain medical care, buy drugs, or submit fake billings to Medicare in your name. Medical identity theft can disrupt your life, damage your credit rating, and waste taxpayer dollars. The damage can be life-threatening to you if the wrong information ends up in your personal medical records.
Fight Back! Deter, Detect, Defend
Protect Your Personal Information Guard your Medicare and Social Security numbers.Treat them like you would treat your credit cards.
If it’s free, they don’t need your number! Be suspicious of anyone who offers you free medical equipment or services and then requests your Medicare number.
It’s illegal, and it’s not worth it! Do not let anyone borrow or pay to use your Medicare ID card or your identity.
Watch Out for These Common Fraud Schemes
Just walk away if people approach you in parking lots, shopping centers, or other public areas and offer free services, groceries, transportation, or other items in exchange for your Medicare number.
Simply hang up the phone if someone calls you claiming to be conducting a health survey and ask for your Medicare number.
Don’t give your information to telephone marketers who claim to be from Medicare or Social Security and ask for payment over the phone or Internet. They may want to steal your money.
Check Your Medical Bills, Medicare SummaryNotices, Explanations of Benefits and Credit Reports
>Were you charged for any medical services or equipment that you didn’t get?
>Do the dates of services and charges look unfamiliar? Were you billed for the same thing twice?
>Does your credit report show any unpaid bills for medical services or equipment you didn’t receive?
>Have you received any collection notices for medical services or equipment you didn’t receive?
Report Medicare Fraud and Medical Identity Theft
>If you spot unusual or questionable charges, contactyour health care provider. It may just be a mistake.
>If your complaint is not resolved by your provider,report the questionable charges to Medicare.
>If you suspect Medicare fraud, contact the Department of Health & Human Services Office of Inspector General.
>If you think someone is misusing your personalinformation, contact the Federal Trade Commission.
Who to Contact
Department of Health & Human Services
Office of Inspector General Hotline
Report suspected Medicare fraud:
Phone: 1-800-447-8477 (1-800-HHS-TIPS)
TTY: 1-800-377-4950 | FAX: 1-800-223-8164
Medicare Call Center and SMPs
Report questionable charges to Medicare: Phone: 1-800-633-4227 (1-800-MEDICARE)
TTY: 1-877-486-2048 | Online: medicare.gov
You can also contact your local SMP:
SMPs (formerly Senior Medicare Patrols) work locally to empower seniors to fight health care fraud and resolve errors.
Find an SMP in your area Go to www.smpresource.org or call 1-877-808-2468
If your Medicare card is lost or stolen, report it right away.
Call Social Security at 1-800-772-1213
(TTY: 1-800-325-0778) for a replacement.
Get help reading your Medicare Summary Notice
Get a free credit report each year by calling 1-877-322-8228
Federal Trade Commission’s Identity Theft Hotline
Report misuse of your personal information:Phone: 1-877-438-4338 (1-877-ID-THEFT) TTY: 1-866-653-4261 | Online: FTC.gov/idtheft
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