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Watch out for medical supply scams targeting Medicare recipients

Friday, May 14, 2021

Our office has learned that scammers are targeting Medicare recipients with offers of unnecessary medical supplies. The scheme uses up the victim’s Medicare benefits, and sometimes leaves them unable to pay for medical supplies with Medicare when they need it.

Fraudsters call, email, advertise to, or write letters to Medicare beneficiaries to offer “free or low-cost” medical supplies, like a knee brace or other orthopedic equipment. Even if the supplies are not medically necessary, the fraudsters prescribe the equipment and bill Medicare for it. The perpetrators also attempt to obtain personal information, which, if disclosed, can lead to identity theft.

Our office works hard to protect consumers, and you can protect yourself from Medicare fraud schemes by following these tips:

1. Never give out your Medicare number or other personal financial information to someone you don’t know.
2. If you receive a call from a company unexpectedly, hang up and call our office. Our consumer protection specialists can help determine if the offer is legitimate. Remember, if an offer sounds too good to be true, it could be a scam.
3. Talk to your doctor before buying any medical supplies. Instead of responding to unsolicited offers, decide when and where you want to shop for the equipment.

If you believe you may have been the victim of a scam, call our office at 877-5-NO-SCAM or file a complaint online at https://ncdoj.gov/file-a-complaint/.