How Scammers Are Using Technology for Medicare Fraud

According to the National Healthcare Fraud Association, healthcare fraud costs $68 billion annually.

Fraudsters are always looking for ways to prey on citizens, using phone and technology scams to steal personal information. Medicare fraud and abuse often target older adults. As technology continues to improve, scammers can lure them into sharing their health insurance numbers.

Once they have a health insurance number, they can completely steal their identity. In this article, we’ll help you better understand these scams so you can prevent Medicare fraud from happening to you or your loved ones. The best prevention method is knowledge.

Free Offers and Rewards

The most common cases of Medicare fraud involve attracting people with free offers or incentives. Providing free medical equipment such as braces, canes or crutches — and under the guise of professionalism — appears to affect older people the most.

Once the offer is accepted, the scammer simply gets the victim’s health insurance number and the job is done. They are often very credible, and in some cases scammers may claim to have been referred by the victim’s doctor.

To avoid scams of this nature, be wary of anyone claiming to offer free medical equipment. A Medicare representative will never solicit you in this way. This is one of the most obvious signs of a scammer.

fake prescription

Scammers will also collude with health professionals to get them to contact people they have never met. These unscrupulous doctors will then conduct a “medical consultation,” asking the victim a series of general questions, such as “Are you in pain?” or “Did you sleep well?”

Sometimes the doctor isn’t even present. Instead, scammers will do a consultation and then one or two doctors will prescribe hundreds of fake prescriptions. Then get a health insurance number.

As the telehealth industry has grown, so have these types of scams. The easiest way to fight this kind of fraud is to never accept a prescription from a doctor you’ve never met. This is not how telemedicine is designed.

How tech scams work

Tech scammers use a variety of tactics to make themselves credible. In addition to phone calls and fake medical consultations, you see a lot of it being done via email.

You may get an email that looks like a Medicare email. These emails may ask you to update your financial records or say you are entitled to some form of refund. These phishing emails are designed to look like official health insurance emails in order to get you to take some kind of action.

Likewise, Medicare will never send you an email unless you contact them first. Phishing is one of the most common scam methods in every industry. They are especially dangerous for older adults, who are inexperienced in identifying email scams.

Avoid Medicare Fraud and Abuse

Now that you know more about Medicare fraud and abuse, you’ll be in a better position. There are bad actors in this world, and as technology improves, they will always try new ways to make money. Pay attention to what we discuss here and you will be able to avoid being exploited.

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