Scammers are calling older Americans on the phone and telling them that they qualify for free medical equipment such as back braces, knee braces or other durable medical equipment.  They tell the seniors that all they need to do is to provide their Medicare number to the caller who purports to be a legitimate medical equipment provider.  If you receive such a call, you should know it is a scam.

Unsolicited calls to people about providing such durable medical equipment is illegal and anyone making such a call is committing a crime.   These unnecessary charges to Medicare cost all of us money and increase the cost of Medicare.  Some people receiving such a call may think that there is no harm to them personally, however, their Medicare benefits could be used up by claims for unnecessary equipment and not be fully available if and when they were needed.

TIPS

Never provide your Medicare number to anyone asking for your number in return for “free”  equipment or services.  It is always a scam.   As for phone calls purporting to be from Medicare itself, you should never provide your Social Security number, credit card number or any other personal information to anyone who calls you on the phone because you can never be sure they are legitimate. Even if your Caller ID indicates the call is from Medicare, the IRS or some other legitimate organization, through a technique called “spoofing” your Caller ID can be tricked into making it appear that the call is legitimate.  If you get a call asking for personal information that appears legitimate, merely hang up and call the company or agency at a number that you independently know is legitimate to find out the truth.

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