Medicare enrollment scams to watch for

FORT MYERS, Fla. – Scammers are getting more active trying to steal your identity and your money. Experts say the thieves are out in full force because we’re in the middle of Medicare’s open enrollment, which runs October 15 – December 7.

“Unfortunately right now we’re looking at even greater popularity (in these scams),” Lee County Sheriff’s Office scam expert Stacey Payne told WINK News Monday.

Payne says one common scam involves someone knocking on your door saying they’re an “official medicare agent” selling Medicare insurance.

“Medicare will never go door-to-door. Now I won’t say that a legitimate insurance person won’t go door-to-door, but Medicare never will,” said Payne.

Another scam involves a phone call from someone saying you’ll lose benefits if don’t sign up for something for a prescription drug coverage plan, or one saying you’re due a $250 refund.

“Medicare is not going to call you. You’re going to receive a formal letter in the mail from them,” said Payne, also adding that the the refund doesn’t exist.

Another scam involves “official looking” brochures about new Medicare products available at discounted prices, also fake.

“Nowadays you can go online and if you’re any type of person who can cut and paste on the computer, you can create your own official looking documents and print them out yourself,” said Payne.

Payne says a popular scam new this year involves someone asking for your personal information in order to send you a new Medicare card. Payne says existing Medicare customers will receive their new cards in 2020, and won’t have to do anything to get them.

For more information on scams, contact the Florida Department of Elder Affairs’ SHINE Program at (239) 652-3292.

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