Medicare: hackers’ most beloved financial scam


It’s time to brace for those yearly US Medicare scams again that trick senior citizens into giving away their info through fake insurance plan changes.

Each year between October 15 and December 7, seniors are harassed by fake emails, phone calls and even door-to-door scammers. In 2015 alone, senior citizens in the US lost around $3 billion to various scams. One of the top financial scams targeting people aged 65 and over takes advantage of Medicare and the Annual Notice of Change, the only time of year when people can change their insurance and drug plans.

Initiated in the mid-60s, Medicare is a national program that provides health insurance for senior citizens and the disabled. Because Medicare has been using Social Security Numbers as identification numbers for each beneficiary, it has been easy for scammers to steal the identity of the victims, pretending to represent Medicare or an insurance company. Some criminals go so far as to spoof phone calls. When asked to confirm their number and personal information, the victims give away all the details, including their SSN.

The FBI encourages victims to not feel embarrassed and report the scam immediately. Many seniors are not tech savvy, which makes them the perfect target for a cybercriminal. If you have seniors in the family, remind them about the dangers of faulty online behavior and make sure they have security software enabled to block malware.

Medicare will never send emails asking people to give away personal information or the Medicare number. Many users fall for this classic identity theft scam despite regular warnings from security specialists and the FBI. In case of doubt, contact the nonstop Medicare hotline for any changes to be made to the plan.

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