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Does Medicare Call You at Home: How to Spot Medicare Phone Scams


Summary: There’s a rise in Medicare phone scams every year around the Annual Enrollment Period. We will discuss some of the most common Medicare scams so that you can spot them and how to protect yourself to avoid falling victim to them. We will also share how you can stop scammers from calling you and how to report them Estimated Read Time: 13 mins

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Table of Contents:

  1. What is a Medicare Scam?
  2. How Do I Get Medicare to Stop Calling Me?
  3. Are All Calls About Medicare a Scam?
  4. How Do Medicare Scammers Get My Phone Number?
  5. Examples of Medicare Scam Calls
  6. What Information Will Medicare Scammers Ask You For?
  7. Medicare Robocalls
  8. Medicare Telemarketing Calls
  9. How to Protect Yourself From Medicare Scams
  10. What To Do If You’ve Been Scammed
  11. How to Stop Getting Spam or Scam Phone Calls
  12. How to Report a Medicare Scam Call

Once you become eligible for Medicare, typically in the months before you turn 65, you may experience an uptick in calls from people who say they’re from Medicare-based organizations. These could be scam calls, and the people on the other end of the line are not official Medicare or Social Security representatives.

When enrolling in Medicare, you should know that neither Social Security nor Medicare will ever call you to get information. Should any Medicare or Social Security need to contact you, they will always send you a letter to notify you.

Below, we’ll discuss common Medicare phone scams and how to stop getting such calls.

What is a Medicare Scam?

Medicare scams are typically people calling or emailing you asking for sensitive information while claiming to be Medicare representatives. Most of the time they are pretending to be from Medicare or from a legitimate Medicare insurance company or brokerage.

These Medicare frauds want you to give them private information so that they can steal your identity or trick you into giving them as much of your money as they can.

How Do I Get Medicare to Stop Calling Me

As mentioned previously, the people who keep calling you are not official Medicare representatives. In some cases, they are online insurance brokers that received your information because you filled out a form on their website.

Medicare or Social Security won’t ever just call you out of the blue. They will always send you a notice in the mail first.

Are All Calls About Medicare a Scam?

Not all calls you receive about Medicare will be scam calls. There are a few instances where if you get a call about Medicare, it is legitimate and helpful to you.

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A representative from your Medicare insurance company or a Medicare brokerage may call you if you’re already enrolled in one of their plans or are shopping for coverage. However, this will only happen if you contact them first or give your permission to contact them through email, voicemail, or a contact form on their website.

Rest assured that most of the time, these brokerage companies (like MedicareFAQ) are legitimate and will only call you if you requested to be contacted to get more information. They will only give you accurate information related to Medicare insurance that’s in full compliance with the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS).

You may also get a call from a Medicare customer service representative if you got a letter saying someone will call you or if you called them and left a message.

How Do Medicare Scammers Get My Phone Number?

Scammers can get your number, name, email address, and other personal information through data breaches. You share this information whenever you register a new account on a website and when that data is leaked, scammers can easily get access to it.

Potential scammers can also get your personal information through third-party data providers. This could include any website you make purchases from, social media, or anywhere else you share personal details online. Basically, if you have an account with a website, then scammers could possibly access that information if the company doesn’t keep it secure enough.

They will then call you and use this personal information to create a sense of urgency to get you to act fast and give up even more sensitive information without thinking first. It’s important to be able to recognize Medicare scams so that you don’t become a victim of theft.

Examples of Medicare Scam Calls

Medicare scam calls tend to pick up in large numbers around the Annual Enrollment Period (Oct 15 to Dec 7) and the General Enrollment Period (Jan 1 to March 31).  To better prepare yourself, be aware of the different phone scams that are prevalent among Medicare recipients.

Unfortunately, scams are more than nuisance calls. Scam calls can lead to massive hits for victims and can result in the loss of hundreds of thousands of dollars. Here are some common examples of Medicare scams to watch out for.

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Your Medicare Insurance is About to be Canceled

Scammers will claim your Medicare insurance is about to expire, and you will lose coverage if you don’t verify your identity. If you refuse to give them private information, you will be unenrolled from both Medicare and Social Security and lose all benefits.

Nobody can unenroll you from Original Medicare, Medicare Advantage, Medicare Part D, or Medicare Supplement but you. To disenroll from Medicare insurance, you would have to call Medicare, fill out a form on the federal Medicare website, or contact your insurance company directly through a signed letter or a phone call.

These scammers will also then ask you to verify your Medicare card number and Social Security number. Be aware that Medicare already has your card number on file and does not need to call you to verify it. They will also never ask for your SSN to verify your identity.

You Need a New Medicare Card

Fraudsters may call to tell you that your current Medicare card is invalid and you need a new one. Medicare will never call you to tell you this. If there is a real issue with your Medicare card, you will receive an official letter from the Social Security Administration to set up a phone interview.

Even if the person on the phone tries to reassure you by saying they only want your Medicare number for verification and not your SSN or bank account information, do not give it to them. Your Medicare number is extremely valuable on its own, and scammers could use it to receive expensive medical services in your name.

You Get an Offer for Free Medical Supplies or Prescription Drugs

Another common Medicare scam is someone calling you to say you’re eligible for free medical supplies or prescription medication. Scammers will often use any health conditions you have that they found out about through a data breach. They will then offer you what you need to treat your condition for “free” and ask you for personal information before they can send it to you.

They will ask for your credit card number to pay for shipping and your Medicare number so that they can bill them for the supplies. Never receive any medical supplies, prescription drugs, or healthcare services without an official invoice that you can confirm with Medicare or your insurance company. Remember that if an offer is too good to be true, it probably is.

You’ve Been Pre-Approved for a Cheaper Healthcare Plan

These agents are not licensed or involved with any federally affiliated organization.

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No sales agent for a legitimate company will call you to offer you a “better” or “free” Medicare plan. They will often lie about any health insurance plan they are offering, and you will end up paying for more expensive insurance or end up with no coverage at all because the plan doesn’t even exist.

Reliable insurance agencies will not try to convince you to enroll in a specific Medicare plan. Federally compliant companies with agents who work with customers, such as MedicareFAQ, will only call you if you reach out to them first.

You’re Eligible for Free Genetic Testing

This scam is where someone will call you to claim that you’re eligible for free genetic testing that you never requested. They will emphasize how important this free testing is to screen for serious health conditions such as heart disease or cancer. The real purpose is to steal your personal information. Don’t schedule any appointments or deliveries if you get this “free” offer.

If you do need a checkup, screening, or any medical tests done for any health issues, then contact your doctor directly. Do not respond to someone calling you out of nowhere and telling you to get tested for free.

Senior Aid Helpers

This is more of a spam call situation where telemarketers will call you multiple times per day from different random numbers. They’re prepared for you to keep blocking the numbers they’ve already called from. If you do answer, these spam callers will ask to speak to you about disability benefits.

A potential purpose of these calls is to get you to say “yes” to any of their questions so that they can record your voice and gain access to your sensitive accounts.

American Senior Benefits

American Senior Benefits is actually a legitimate organization, but they’re often impersonated by scammers. Fraudsters will pretend to be an agent from American Senior Benefits and offer heavy discounts on life insurance. They will ask you for private information to give you these discounts.

The real American Senior Benefits will not call you out of the blue. The people calling you are telemarketers who could be calling you illegally if you are on the Do Not Call List. If you would like to find out more about the real American Senior Benefits organization, check out their website or contact them directly.

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You’re Eligible for a Refund

In this common scam, someone will call to tell you that you’re owed a refund because you overpaid for a medical service. They will say that Medicare owes you hundreds of dollars in refunds. This is always a scam.

Scammers will ask you for your bank account so that they can deposit your refund. They won’t actually deposit any money. They just want access to your bank account so they can potentially steal your money. If Medicare really does owe you a refund, they won’t call you or ask for your banking information.

What Information Will Medicare Scammers Ask You For?

If someone claiming to be associated with Medicare asks you for any of the following information, it’s most likely a scam. You should never give out this information to someone who has contacted you first.

  • Social Security number
  • Bank account number
  • Current Medicare card number
  • Credit card number
  • Full address
  • Full name (first, middle, last)
  • Maiden name

Instead of responding to any scammers, hang up and call the organization they are claiming to call from directly.

If you reach out to Medicare, Social Security, your insurance company, or an insurance broker, make sure you have the correct, legitimate phone number off of the organization’s official website or any printed mail you receive from them.

Medicare Robocalls

Robocalls are a scammer tactic that can give voice messages to people through pre-recordings. Many cell phone carriers provide services that may alert you if a call is likely a spam call. But there are still tons of fraudulent calls that can make their way through the cracks. You can contact your home or cell phone provider to determine if they offer a form of blocking for these calls.

When a robocall strikes your phone, be sure to never speak to them. By responding, you’re telling the spammers that your phone number is active. Ignore the call, and mmediately file a complaint with the FTC.

However, note that not all robocalls are the same. Often, doctors’ offices will use a robocall to remind you of a doctor’s appointment. Keep this in mind when listening to a robocall. Not all robocalls are harmful, but about 40% of them are spam, and that’s why making reports is essential.

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Medicare Telemarketing Calls

Telemarketing calls attempt to commit fraud and theft. Some widespread telemarketing calls say you win all-expense-paid trips or owe payment for fake debts.

Scam calls will often use phony caller IDs to hide their real location and make it look like they’re calling from a local number.

Telemarketing calls may claim that you’re losing your benefits to get your Social or banking details.

How to Protect Yourself From Medicare Scams

The first step in protecting yourself against Medicare phone scams is to not answer calls or texts from unknown numbers. Legitimate organizations will always leave a voice message stating who they are, and then you can call them back if they’re familiar.

If you do answer the phone, do not respond to questions from unknown callers. This is especially true of yes/no questions since it’s likely they want to record your voice so they can further access your personal information.

You can also help protect yourself from fraudulent activities by never offering credit card or personal information to anyone. The more hands-on your personal information, the more likely you are to receive scam calls.

Many times, when you sign up for new websites, apps, or services, you’re sharing personal information.

Under no circumstances should you be giving out your personal or credit card information over the phone, especially when you’re unsure of the person on the other end of the line.

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Although it is daunting, looking at the privacy policies before you share your personal information can save you in the long run. Some websites sell your email address and phone number to third parties, so be careful.

If you do answer the phone to a scammer, remember the signs of a scam mentioned above, hang up the phone, block the number, and report the call to Medicare or the FCC.

What To Do If You’ve Been Scammed

If you already gave a scammer personal information, you should act as quickly as possible to minimize any damage.

If they have your bank account information, Social Security number, or credit card information, the first thing is to file an identity theft report. You can do this online by filing with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). Then, file a police report for identity theft with your local officers.

Next you need to freeze your credit report so that the thieves can’t open new accounts or take out loans in your name. Then, contact your bank to cancel any current accounts and set up new ones. You should also cancel any credit cards and get new ones sent to you.

If you gave scammers your Medicare number, you should go to their federal website to report Medicare fraud and abuse.

How to Stop Getting Spam or Scam Phone Calls

The best way to stop receiving scam or spam calls is to get on the Federal Trade Commission’s Do Not Call List. To register, call the FTC from the phone number that you want on the Do Not Call list. The phone number is 1-888-382-1222. You can register your phone number online as well, but you will need an email account to do so.

Register both your cell phone and home phone to put an end to the calls. If you’re still getting scam calls 31 days after you register with the Do Not Call list, you can file a complaint with the FTC.

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You can also ask your phone company about call block features. These features typically come standard on all cell phones.

It also helps to be cautious when sharing personal information online. It’s a good idea to limit the number of accounts you have on different websites. You could also take extra precautions against your information getting stolen by changing your online passwords regularly.

How to Report a Medicare Scam Call

If you receive a scam call, you should report it as soon as possible. You can do this by calling Medicare directly. The phone number for Medicare is 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227). You could also contact their fraud hotline at 1-800-HHS-TIPS.

You can report telemarketers to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) online.

FAQs

What is the best time of day to call the Social Security office?
The Social Security Administration suggests calling on Wednesday, Thursday, or Friday to avoid long hold times.
Does the Social Security office call you for suspicious activity?
Social Security will NEVER call you to say you could be arrested or face legal action due to fraudulent activity. They will never ask for money or threaten your benefits. If you suspect fraudulent activity, hang up and call the SSA.
Who can I call about Medicare questions?
If the questions are general Medicare questions, you can always call us. But, if you need to get a specific answer about your Medicare claim or account, you can call Medicare. Yet, if you need to apply for Medicare, you’ll call Social Security.

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Sources:

MedicareFAQ is dedicated to providing you with authentic and trustworthy Medicare information. We have strict sourcing guidelines and work diligently to serve our readers with accurate and up-to-date content.

  1. National Council on Aging, 5 Warning Signs of a Medicare Scam—and How to Protect Yourself. Accessed November 2023.
    https://www.ncoa.org/article/5-warning-signs-of-a-medicare-scam-and-how-to-protect-yourself
  2. Federal Trade Commission, Avoid marketing scams during 2022 Medicare Open Enrollment. Accessed November 2023.
    https://consumer.ftc.gov/consumer-alerts/2021/10/avoid-marketing-scams-during-2022-medicare-open-enrollment
  3. Federal Communications Commission, Older Americans and Medicare Call Scams. Accessed November 2023.
    https://www.fcc.gov/older-americans-and-medicare-scams

Jagger Esch

Jagger Esch is the co-founder, president, and CEO of Elite Insurance Partners and MedicareFAQ.com. Since the inception of his first company in 2012, he has been dedicated to helping those eligible for Medicare by providing them with resources to educate themselves on all their Medicare options. He is featured in many publications as well as writes regularly for other expert columns regarding Medicare.

40 thoughts on “Does Medicare Call You at Home: How to Spot Medicare Phone Scams

  1. I’m getting 15 to 20 calls per day about the “new Medicare benefits”. The call was made by an overseas call center (Based on caller accent and voices in the background). A few times I just gave them false info to see what happens. They ended up transferring to a licensed agent who worked for SelectQuote.com.

    Obviously, some insurance companies are pay these people to make the calls to get around the do not call lists. Also, might be the US government trying to get seniors to switch from Medicare A/B to part C advantage plans that are run by insurance companies. FTC needs to hit the companies that are doing this crap with BIG fines. Otherwise, this will never stop,

  2. Every day I receives several calls from heavily accented callers identifying themselves as Medicare advisors. They claim they are not selling anything, but that they want to help me get a better rate and/or better coverage. Most of the calls come from a 513 area code, which coincidentally is the area code of my cell phone. Are these legitimate calls?

    1. Hi Mark. They may or may not be. Carriers do sometimes higher overseas for their call centers. They are called Medicare advisors but do not work for Medicare. They work for an insurance carrier that sells supplemental policies.

      1. I get about 50 call a day fro people claiming they want to update my claim They are from Medicare office i would like this to stop

      2. Hi Manuel – that is concerning because Medicare will never call you at home if you don’t contact them first. The best course of action is to report the numbers to Medicare and mark each as a spam call.

  3. The do not call option does not work… I got on those lists early on and I’m still getting 8-12 of these “Medicare” calls a day rotating between my local and the same multiple out of state area codes – one right after the other. I’ve picked up a few and gotten “loud” about telling them to back off. It works for a few days (only 2-3 calls per day…) then starts right back up again. I won’t be 65 until well into next year…

  4. Although I know there is nothing I can do to stop the calls for Medicare, etc. It did feel better to register my complaint.
    I think a public service announcement EVERY DAY on MSM and other outlets to the public about how Medicare does not call you, do not give any information at all, do not engage in conversation with this fraudsters, etc. Maybe it would stem the flow of unwanted potential scam calls.

  5. just seconds after registering at Medicare.gov my phone lit up with marketing texts and calls from United Healthcare. I stopped the texts but four calls in the last three hours from different United numbers. Scary to think our government is actually selling citizens’ personal information to private businesses.

    1. Bill, I would double-check that you are on Medicare.gov vs Medicare .com. More than likely, you were not on the government website.

  6. I have read the comments from “robo-calls”. You are all correct….they are a ROYAL PIA! I worked for a telephone company for over 25 yrs. With the knowledge I have since they scammers/sales persons have access to multiple phone lines darn near impossible to stop the calls. There should be a solution, but not so far. There should be something the FCC can do, but apparently not. Plus so many of the calls are routed from offshore companies & accounts. I have tried only answering the phone if it’s someone I know, but they fill up the machine with hang up calls. Family and friends can’t get thru or the machine is full of their BS. If someone can share a plan, how to stop the annoying calls, please let us know. Thank you.

    1. My Mom got a call, she said the person had all her numbers are Dr’s names. Said they were trying to send her a new card.
      What do we do from here, besides alert Medicare?

      1. Hi JoAnne! That’s all you can do, alert Medicare & provide them with the phone number they called from.

  7. My mother gets 4-5 calls a day similar to what everyone is saying. I reported to FTC. They say they want to send her a new Medicare card. They asked her height, weight, Dr’s name and last time she saw her Dr. Then they wanted her to get her card so we hung up. The calls always appear as a local number and she is on the Do not call list. It is just so frustrating!!

    1. Hi Lori! Yes, this sounds like a scam call for sure. Unfortunately, since they do not go by the do not call list, it’s really difficult to stop them. A rule of thumb is if you don’t recognize the number, let it go to voicemail.

    2. That’s easy ask them for her home address and if they don’t know it hang up, it they do know it tell them to send the new cards. I’m 70 and I really don’t know how people fall for these and other calls like your computer is infected. If I get this bad I hope my family takes the phone away from me and the computer

  8. My husband is turning 65 next year and all we care is people calling us about Medicare Options. We are on the do not call list however, we still three to five phone calls a day. His name is listed in a database and unfortunately I will be in the same situation in five years. I appreciate any assistance on stopping this.

    1. Hi Lori! If you’re sure that both of you are on the national do not call list, then the only thing you can do is install an app on your smartphone that blocks calls that are either not in your contact list, or not calling from your local zipcode. Unfortunately, they could have local phone numbers they’re using to call you, which would still get through. Some of the call blocker apps do have a feature to report the caller for not following the law regarding robocalls.

      1. nothing stops the calls, so when they call i tell them i am 15 years old and they can’t hang up fast enough.

      2. Say this when answering a unknown number or even a number not in your contact list….”radio Ktyy, you are on the air” 100% hang up.

  9. I recently had a birthday and turned 65, for some reason I’ve been getting a load of calls regarding Medicare, but because of a medical situation I’ve been covered for several years. Yesterday a caller was nice enough to tell me that my number has been entered into four leads which could explain why I’m getting so many calls, but from her office she will put my number on their DOC list. I guess I’ll have to do what I’ve done to my landline, stop answering calls from numbers not in my contact list. This is terrible. : (

  10. I have been just calling them back and giving it right back. This is gotta stop. Hopefully my name will get out and be known and they will leave this “nut” alone. LOL

  11. I am blocking 5 to 6 numbers or more sometimes a week. There seems to be NO way to stop them! I have been on the DNC Registry since 2007. Everytime I block them, they just call from a new number. The numbers seem to be cell phones so that means they have an endless supply of numbers to use to continue to harass you.

  12. I keep getting medicare calls almost every day, even though I have been on Medicare for nearly 6 years. I also am on the”Do Not Call” list. Even more irritating is that they use spoofing technology to make it appear to be a local number, which makes it more likely that I am likely to answer. In my opinion, this is fraud.

    1. They use same spoof numbers on me. Using my phones area code but another phone number. I tried txting a STOP but it only worked on Numbers not the ‘Medicare Assist’ calls. So I’m down to immediately delete from my cell. I wish I knew what I clicked on to start this. I get 50+ a day.

  13. I get calls every day and as many as 2 or 3 per day claiming to be “on a recorded line” offering a medicare discount card. My app called RoboKiller blocks them and states that they have identified as a spam caller. It seems it’s always from (717)366-xxxx and the app automatically blocks the number but they just try a different set of xxxx numbers. Is this a legitimate company or just another scammer. They will never get my personal information of any kind, if I can help it.

    1. Hi Craig! Be very cautious with those types of calls, anyone calling offering a “Medicare discount card” sounds like a scam!

  14. I’m tired of these Telemarketing calls claiming to be medicare advisors! I’m on the do not call registry! I ask them to stop calling! All they do is hang up on me. I ask politely please take me off your list. Yet the calls still come in! It’s always a different phone number they use. I block each number. Yet, they call still! You don’t know it’s a Medicare scam caller until you pick up your phone. The do not call registry doesn t help really. I’ll get these call 3 or 4 times a day. It’s no joke! There are apps but you have to pay for the good ones! There has got to be an easier way to stop the Bull…. calls? I keep looking for ways to stop them. But not every call is from a telemarketer! If i do buy an app, it stops all calls from numbers it don’t recognise. My son has companies call for work! I don’t want them all to stop. Just the telemarketer calls that say their from SS or Medicare!

    1. Hi Jerry! Yes, we all have the same issue it seems! I personally use the default settings and block any numbers not in my contacts. However, I know this option won’t work for everyone. Hopefully, there will be stricter rules put in place soon to stop robocalls.

      1. They’re all spoofed numbers randomly generated. If you do get one that’s active, it’s just going to be some poor phone customer that has no idea that their numbers’ being used.

    2. I had 16 on a Friday recently. The one today, when I told him to take my number off the list got vulgar and used the f. word. This is ridiculous. I pay to use the phone for my benefit, not to be harrassed.

  15. I’m in my 30’s and started getting mail and phone calls about my ‘upcoming eligibility for Medicare’ over a year ago. I’m in my 30’s!!!!!! They won’t stop. I’m on a do not call list and I’ve asked several times to be removed from call lists and mailings. I’ve called the number on the mailings to have myself removed and ask how they received my information and nobody has an answer. It’s really becoming a nuisance.

  16. This month I have received several solicitations regarding medicare Part D in my mail box. I do not give out my personal information. This includes my home address, phone number, or any other means of identification. How do I stop these solicitation, and have my information permanently removed for third party records? How and where do these third party companies get personal contact information? How do I take back control of my privacy?

    1. Hi David! So sorry you’re getting bombarded with Part D pamphlets in your mailbox. Most likely, it’s a carrier that’s sending you those pamphlets. I would call that carrier and ask them to remove you from their mailing list.

  17. I have been on the “do not call list” since 2007 and since I turned 65, I am constantly receiving calls about Medicare advantage plans. I’ve blocked phone numbers but they call from different numbers and from different countries even. How do I get them to stop???

    1. Hi Robin! I COMPLETELY understand your frustration with this. Unfortunately, I don’t think there is a solution for it yet. I know the government is trying to crack down on robo calls. Maybe a temporary fix is to block any numbers that are not on your contact list. However, I understand that’s not a good solution for everyone…

    2. I have the EXACT same problem with my mom who has Alzheimer’s. She will give them all info and they convince her to change her plan. She doesn’t even know what plan she has because I handle all of her finances and accounts and have for years. This has happened six times over the last couple years and then I have to spend weeks trying to get her back to the original plan she has (which isn’t available anymore, so I’ve been lucky so far). There HAS to be a solution. She gets about 5 or 10 a day.

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