Senior Resources » Warning: Medicare Scams Are Exploding!

Warning: Medicare Scams Are Exploding!

               I am very concerned about a phone call I received yesterday from a representative with Medicare. After asking quite a few personal questions, they informed me there was a new, plastic Medicare card with a chip like a credit card. I told the caller what you said during your online Medicare webinar—that we shouldn’t give personal information over the phone.

               I’m concerned that I could’ve made a mistake and have missed out on the new Medicare card. Would you please advise what I should do? Who should I call to see if Medicare is trying to contact me? Sometimes, it’s hard to know what’s the right thing to do when it involves Medicare.

Deidre from Houston, TX

senior man in glasses with hands on his head - how to avoid Medicare scams


Don’t stress yourself out. Medicare isn’t issuing a new card with a chip. Unfortunately, this is the latest Medicare scam targeting America’s older population. Your Medicare card is still the same card you currently have.


Medicare and Social Security will NEVER randomly call you and ask for your personal or banking information. Medicare already has all the information they need about you on file. If information was ever needed, they’d send an official letter to your address.

Medicare card- how to avoid Medicare scams

Note: Medicare updated their cards in 2018. In lieu of Social Security Numbers, they now use a random identifier that mixes numbers and letters. There are no plans to update it at this time.

In March, it was reported that criminals defrauded Medicare of over $100 billion per year. Unfortunately, fraud hurts all of America. When thieves steal from Medicare, there’s less money available for those who really need it.

Fortunately, an organization called Senior Medicare Patrol (SMP) helps those on Medicare learn how to detect fraud and abuse. To report Medicare Fraud or Abuse call the nationwide SMP toll-free number at 877-808-2468. To locate the closest SMP office in your state, visit


Related: WARNING: Taking Medicare Advice from Your Friends Can be COSTLY!

The SMP website discusses common Medicare fraud schemes, including COVID-19, genetic testing, and hospice scams. Sadly, the list goes on and on! Below are a few tips to help protect you against Medicare fraud.

1. Have a safety script by your phone.

old lady on phone - how to avoid Medicare scams

If you’re someone who struggles to know what to say on the phone, this is a great tip for you. Write out a “scammer script” and stick to it—no matter what! You don’t go into a football game without protective equipment. The same applies to scams! Suit up, protect yourself, and don’t let the scammers win.

2. Never give out your Medicare or Social Security numbers to strangers.

lady no - how to avoid Medicare scams

We often warn our grandkids about talking to strangers. Now, it’s time to take our own advice! Play the “Stranger Danger” game. If someone calls and asks for your Social Security or Medicare number, hang up. Don’t trust anyone until they verify themselves. Scams are prevalent, so safety is even more important than ever.

3. Do not accept “free” offers in exchange for your Medicare number.

you won - - how to avoid Medicare scams

Nothing in life is free, and this applies to Medicare, too! If a fraudster obtains your Medicare number, they’ll use it to pay for their own health emergencies! So, if a stranger offers you a new fridge in exchange for your Medicare number, don’t give it out!


Related: The Shocking Truth About Medicaid and Long-Term Care All 55+ Adults Should Know

Yes, my friends, Medicare fraud is exploding. The only way to stop it is to spread the word. Let your friends know what you read here today. We Boomers must stand together and stop those who only want to make a “fast dollar” from Medicare, our hard-earned money…and most importantly, us.

Contact Toni: Email the Toni Says® Medicare team at or call (832)519-8664 for all your Medicare questions!

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Originally published April 21, 2023


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