Medicare Fraud Information for Caregivers
If you have a loved one with dementia, be on the lookout for scammers. If people are
confused or unsure if they are supposed to know or trust people, they may give up their
personal information to people they should not, putting them and their bank accounts,
Medicare, and identity at risk. It is not if a scammer has called, rest
assured everyone receives these calls regularly. The question is, have they gotten
any of the information they wanted? If so, how might one know that their loved one is
Pay attention to phone calls. If your loved one is receiving an inordinate amount of
phone calls, they are on lists. Once someone has either stayed on the line very
long talking to a scammer, or worse, given out information, their phone number is more
marketable and will be sold repeatedly to other scammers. This increases the call
volume immensely and will be noticeable. The best thing to do is to try and keep them
from answering the phone when they do not know who it is. This is trickier when
someone suffers from dementia, but there are still steps you can take to stop the fraud.
Understand that Medicare will never call to sell anything. A reputable DME company will
not cold call clients either. It is best to hang up and not engage with any unsolicited
offers for a new Medicare card, medical equipment, or genetic test kit. Unfortunately,
once someone has, you will need to be more diligent with reading the Medicare Summary
Notices that arrive quarterly.
This may seem daunting, but Medicare has strict coverage rules, and you may even find
a bill for a denied service or item down the road like for genetic test kits for example.
Always reconcile the Medicare Summary Notices and monitor them for any claims for
services or supplies to which they did not receive. This would be a possible red flag
their information has already been stolen. Montana SMP has tools you can use that will
help you track statements and medical appointments and are located at every Area
Agency on Aging across the state. If you have questions about a potential
Medicare scam call, DNA test or medical equipment offer that was received, please
call the Montana Senior Medicare Patrol at 800-551-3191.
Seniors and people suffering from dementia are often polite and trusting of strangers, making them a prime scam target.