What is medicare fraud? In the Medford Transcript via Wicked Local, Dan O'Leary provides a definition for elders:
"Medicare fraud occurs when an individual receives Medicare benefits to which they are not entitled. How would this work? Perhaps someone approaches you in a parking lot and offers you free groceries if you give them your Medicare number. Or, maybe you receive a telephone call from a person who claims to be conducting a survey and asks for your Medicare number."
You should not disclose your Medicare number in either of the above situations. How to protect yourself:
"You should only divulge your Medicare number to your doctors and other providers approved by Medicare. To see if a provider is approved by Medicare, call 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227). In addition to protecting your personal information, you should treat your Medicare benefits like any other valuable service. Be wary of offers that claim to provide Medicare services for free. Be cautious of any health provider that says it has been endorsed by Medicare."
If your Social Security card is lost or stolen, visit the www.socialsecurity.gov site. If you suspect or experience medicare fraud, report it to the Office of Inspector General as soon as possible. You can also report Medicare fraud at the Medicare.gov site.