Don't be a victim of Medicaid, Medicare fraud

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - It's open enrollment and scammers are targeting Medicaid and Medicare applicants.

There are several ways scammers are targeting recipients, and they include being charged for services or products not delivered, phone scams about mail order prescriptions, and identity theft.

Cynthia Abel with the Center on Aging-Northeast said they are becoming more common.

She said she's even had a run-in with a scammer over the phone after they attempted to contact one of her family members.

"They had some diabetes supplies and they wanted to sell them to her but she needed to give them her Medicare number. She gave them her number and apparently she gave it to them wrong because she couldn't remember it and they called back. I picked up the phone and I told them I wasn't telling them anything," Abel said.

She says that is one type of scam they may try to use.

"You'll start getting billed for all kind of stuff on Medicare or Medicaid numbers," she said. "So don't ever give those out unless it's to your doctor, hospital or healthcare provider. Those are the only people who need to know what those numbers are."

"No one from Medicaid or Medicare is going to call you on the phone, they'll want you to give it to them in person or through the mail and no one is going to come to your house unsolicited either. They usually make an appointment with the Department of Human Services through Medicaid," Abel said.

Abel has a few tips to help fight Medicaid or Medicare fraud.

She advises people to check everything, keep records, don't keep your Medicaid or Medicare cards on you and alert someone if you see anything suspicious and don't give your information out," she said.

If you believe you are a victim of Medicaid or Medicare fraud Abel advises you contact the Attorney General's office.

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