The Department of Health and Human Services Office has issued a recent warning to Americans with diabetes to be alert to a number of scams targeted specifically at people with diabetes. The scams originate with a call from someone purporting to be from either Medicare, another government agency or a diabetes organization in which the scammers offer free diabetic supplies, such as glucose meters, diabetic testing strips or lancets. All the victim of the scam has to do to receive these free items is provide personal information, such as the victim’s Medicare number, which, although the government should know better, is still the person’s Social Security number. The scammers then either use the victim’s Medicare information to bill Medicare for the items, make the person a victim of medical identity theft, which can corrupt the victim’s health records and/or use the other personal information to make the person a victim of more conventional identity theft.
Never give your Medicare number or other personal information to someone you don’t know. Legitimate diabetes associations, Medicare and other governmental agencies will not call you by phone offering “free” items. Always check your Medicare Summary Notice and other medical billings that you receive to make sure that you have not been billed for items you did not order and to see if you have become a victim of medical identity theft. You can go to the medical identity theft section of scamicide.com to see how to reclaim your identity if you have become a victim of medical identity theft.