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Attorney General Schneider Issues Medical Scam Alert
March 22, 2012
AUGUSTA – Attorney General William J. Schneider is warning people with diabetes to beware of a medical scam involving diabetic supplies. Recent reports in Maine involve telephone calls from someone claiming to be from Medicare who offers diabetic and other medical supplies in exchange for Medicare information. Some Medicare consumers have received diabetic supplies that were never ordered and even after repeatedly informing the mail order company that they purchase their diabetic supplies at a local pharmacy, the shipments continued.
“People with diabetes have become the target of criminals who want to steal your Medicare number,” said Attorney General Schneider. “Safeguarding your personal information, including your Medicare number, is the best step Maine consumers can take to prevent medical identity theft.”
Attorney General Schneider offers the following tips for diabetic patients and other Medicare beneficiaries:
- Be suspicious of anyone who offers free medical equipment or services and then asks for your Medicare or financial information. These calls are not coming from Medicare, diabetes associations or other similar organizations.
- Do not provide your Medicare number, social security number, or other personal information over the phone.
- Do not accept items that you did not order. Refuse the delivery and keep a record of the sender’s name and the date you returned the items.
- Check all of your medical bills, Medicare summary notices, explanation of benefits and credit reports. If you spot unusual or questionable charges, first contact your health care provider to be sure it is not just an error.
- Report medical identity theft and Medicare fraud.
The Maine Senior Medicare Patrol (SMP) connects callers to their local Area Agency on Aging to help Mainers file reports with the appropriate Medicare/MaineCare entities. Call 1-877-353-3771 or go to http://www.maine.gov/dhhs/oes/community/mmep.shtml
For more information on Medicare fraud, go to http://www.maine.gov/dhhs/oes/community/medicare_fraud.htm
If you think you have experienced a Medicare scam, call the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Hotline at (207)626-8849.