Health Care Scammers: What You Need To Know To Stay Safe

Scams happen, both online and off. When it comes to your health, you don’t have the privilege to take these things lightly. 

In recent times, phone scams have become overwhelmingly commonplace, and scammers are keen to capitalize on the fear associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. Seniors are extremely popular targets for these scammers, but it’s important to know that anyone can be a victim.

According to the Coalition Against Insurance Fraud, scams related to health care and other associated activities are some of the most common types of insurance fraud.

“It is bad enough that fraud is on the rise generally but to prey on people’s fears and hopes during this pandemic is unconscionable,” said Ben Kehl, vice president of member experience, UnitedHealthcare Medicare & Retirement. “Thankfully, new scams are consistently being uncovered. The first step in protecting yourself and your family is to stay informed.”

Sunbelt provider UnitedHealthcare has compiled this list of some of the most common types of scams out there so that you can stay physically and financially safe during these uncertain times!

Text scams

Many people are receiving messages from people posing as government agencies falsely advertising a COVID-19 vaccine or cure. Do not click on links in texts related to the virus. Instead, check for current information.

Another government imposter text is asking people to register and update their personal information to receive an economic stimulus check, “regardless of your status.” The link asks for personal information and a debit or credit card number.  

Robocall scams

These automated calls are “phishing” not just for bank or credit card information, but also Social Security numbers and health plan ID numbers to use in other types of fraud. Some common scam examples seen lately include:

  • Offering a free COVID-19 testing kit along with a free diabetic monitor
  • Warning of a virus outbreak “in your area” and connecting you with a health advisor to get a vaccine
  • Phone scammers often prey on older adults through various guises. Some of the most common ones are the following: 

The “Health Care Representative” 

The caller will claim to be a representative of your health plan, such as your Medicare Advantage or Medicare supplement plan. If you’re enrolled with a national insurance company that serves a large number of members, you could be at even greater risk. Why? Phone fraud is a numbers game. Fraudsters will call hundreds or even thousands of people, pretending to represent an insurance company. If they say they’re calling from a national company, they’re more likely to reach people actually enrolled with that company.

The “Government Representative” 

A caller might claim to be working for the government, saying he or she is calling from Medicare, for example, and is authorized to collect fees or penalties over the phone to set right some supposed problem with the person’s Medicare account.

If you’re ready to situate your health care on your terms, then call to speak with our team of professionals at (800) 822-8045!

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