Consumers often inform us that they have received a call from someone claiming to be from Medicare or the Social Security Administration. Inevitability the caller wants personal information usually including a credit card or bank account number. I just had a consumer report such a call this week.
Medicare is administered by The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) which is a division of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Social Security is administered by the U.S. Social Security Administration (SSA). Neither of these offices contacts consumers by phone for personal information so if you receive such a call you should not provide any personal information and should report the phone number to the FTC (Federal Trade Commission).
The FTC also warns about calls claiming to be from Medicare Part D providers. Keep in mind that Medicare Part D providers are not allowed to take payments over the phone and cannot charge you a fee for signing up. The FTC advises to not provide any information to a “provider” that calls you and recommends only providing information if you have initiated the call to a provider you know.
There is more information from the FTC about avoiding Medicare Part D scams on their website at www.ftc.gov. The FTC recommends checking out Medicare Part D plan providers with the Better Business Bureau and so do I.