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HHS HealthBeat (April 17, 2012)

Calling out Medicare scams

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From the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, I’m Nicholas Garlow with HHS HealthBeat.

Diabetes patients, beware when you pick up the phone. Calls claiming to be from Medicare are not. If they offer you free glucose meters or diabetic test strips, that’s a red flag, because Medicare never makes calls offering supplies or services.

Gary Cantrell is deputy inspector general for investigations with HHS’ Office of the Inspector General.

“The scammers sometimes use names like “MED-‘EE’-CARE, or “MED-“UH’-CARE, “MEDIC-CARE,” in order to trick the listener.” (6 seconds)

The number one no-no is giving your away personal information over the phone.

“Don’t provide callers with your Medicare number, bank account information, or credit card numbers.” (5 seconds)

If you think you’re the target of a scam, report to the OIG hotline, at 1-800-HHS-TIPS.

Learn more at

HHS HealthBeat is a production of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. I’m Nicholas Garlow.

Last revised: April 17, 2012