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Identity theft: protect yourself and Medicare information

Identity theft is a serious crime that happens when someone uses your personal information without your consent to commit fraud or other crimes.

Personal information includes things like your name and your Social Security, Medicare, or credit card numbers.

Guard your Medicare card to protect your personal information

  • To help protect your identity, Medicare mailed new cards with new Medicare numbers that are unique to you, instead of your Social Security number.
  • Don’t share your Medicare number or other personal information with anyone who contacts you by phone, email, or by approaching you in person.
  • Medicare, or someone representing Medicare, will only call and ask for personal information in the following situations:
    1. A Medicare health or drug plan can call you if you’re already a member of the plan.
    2. Your insurance agent who helped you join can also call you.
    3. A customer service representative from 1-800-MEDICARE can call you if you’ve called and left a message or a representative said that someone would call you back.
  • Only give personal information like your Medicare number to doctors, insurers acting on your behalf, or trusted people in the community who work with Medicare like your State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP).
  • Be familiar with how Medicare uses your personal information.

If someone calls you and asks for your Medicare number or other personal information, hang up and call Medicare at 1-800-633-4227.

If you suspect identity theft, or feel like you gave your personal information to someone you shouldn’t have, immediately contact the Federal Trade Commission.

Information for this article came from www.medicare.gov