Consumers have reported receiving calls from insurance companies and government agencies offering to help them navigate the process to receive health care coverage. The callers say they need certain pieces of personal data, such as bank account information or Social Security numbers, to get you enrolled in a coverage plan. Or they will need the information because the insurance company no longer takes checks and needs to arrange for an automatic bank draft. Remember, never give your bank account information over the phone, because you don’t know who is on the other end of the line.
The scam artist may even “spoof” the caller ID so that it looks like it’s coming from a legitimate insurance company. Even if you think the call might be coming from your insurance company, it’s wise to tell them you’ll call back and hang up the phone. Then go look at your last bill and call the phone number printed on the statement. That way you’ll know you’re talking to your insurance company, not an imposter. Other scammers pretending to be from government health programs focusing on senior citizens are not trying to steal money but rather personal information that can be used to file for other government benefits, such as a false tax return. These government agencies will never ask you for personal information over the phone or by email. If Medicare or Medicaid really needs to get information from you, they will send you a letter requesting information. If you do receive a call, and think it might be from a legitimate agency, ask them to send you a letter detailing what information they need.