Medicare Beneficiaries Urged to Be Aware of Phone Scams


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The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has put out a warning of a new scheme that asks Medicare beneficiaries for money and checking account information to help them enroll in a Medicare Prescription Drug Plan. This scheme is called “299 Ring” for the amount of money Medicare beneficiaries are convinced to withdraw from their checking accounts to pay for a fake prescription drug plan.

Medicare has received complaints from Indiana, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and Georgia. Cases should be reported to local law enforcement agencies or 1-877-772-3379. As soon as CMS receives these complaints, they are investigated and referred to federal law enforcement authorities.

Legitimate Medicare drug plans will not ask Medicare recipients for bank account or other personal information over the phone. Recipients should never provide personal information to callers. Always keep all personal information safe, including your Medicare number. Contact the local police department if you believe someone is trying to take money or information from you illegally.


Source: Aging Resource Review, Issue 6, Summer 2006