SCAM Alert

Below is a copy of the email sent from the US Dept. of HHS/OIG:

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of Inspector General (OIG) recently confirmed that the HHS OIG Hotline telephone number is being used as part of a telephone spoofing scam targeting individuals throughout the country. These scammers represent themselves as HHS OIG Hotline employees and can alter the appearance of the caller ID to make it seem as if the call is coming from the HHS OIG Hotline 1-800-HHS-TIPS (1-800-447-8477). The perpetrator may use various tactics to obtain or verify the victim’s personal information, which can then be used to steal money from an individual’s bank account or for other fraudulent activity. HHS OIG takes this matter seriously. We are actively investigating this matter and intend to have the perpetrators prosecuted.

It is important to know that HHS OIG will not use the HHS OIG Hotline telephone number to make outgoing calls and individuals should not answer calls from 1-800-HHS-TIPS (1-800-447-8477). We encourage the public to remain vigilant, protect their personal information, and guard against providing personal information during calls that purport to be from the HHS OIG Hotline telephone number. We also remind the public that it is still safe to call into the HHS OIG Hotline to report fraud.  We particularly encourage those who believe they may have been a victim of the telephone spoofing scam to report that information to us through the HHS OIG Hotline 1-800-HHS-TIPS (1-800-447-8477) or spoof@oig.hhs.gov. Individuals may also file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357).

Also – here’s the link to our Consumer Alerts webpage: https://oig.hhs.gov/fraud/consumer-alerts/alerts/phone-scam.asp

 

Thanks!

Sheila Davis  
Public Affairs Specialist
OIG/HHS
P: 202.205.5636
BB: 202.834.1606
Sheila.davis@oig.hhs.gov

HICAP MEDICARE ALERT!

CHANGING BANKS MAY LEAD TO MEDICARE PLAN CANCELLATION!

(Submitted by: Janet M. Dahlke, MPH HICAP Medicare Counselor, Area 1 Agency on Aging)

HICAP has recently learned some Medicare recipients who have changed banks may be only days away from losing their Medicare Part B, Supplement plan, or Prescription Drug plan. Don’t let this happen to you!

If you have recently changed banks, or if your bank recently closed, and if you have automatic payments being made for your Medicare coverages, you need to be sure the payments are going through as planned. Unfortunately, not all folks realize they may need to complete new authorization forms. Your new bank will assist you with this process. In addition, you need to follow up with your Medicare plans to be sure they are receiving the payments. If not, you risk cancellation.

What can you do? Call your Part D and Supplement plan’s customer service right away to see if you are behind on payments. If so, they will tell you what is needed to get current and set up future payments. Be sure to contact your new bank if you need help. If automatic payments for Medicare Part B are being paid from your bank account, you may wish to confirm payments being received by calling Medicare at 1-800-633-4227.

HICAP’s Senior Medicare Patrol reminds you to always remain cautious and prevent Medicare fraud. Protect your identity and Medicare number! Don’t give out any personal information unless you have called a trusted customer service number and you are certain you know who you are talking to! Report suspicious calls or solicitations to HICAP!

HICAP is your Medicare Health Insurance Counseling & Advocacy Program. If you need more information or have any questions about the above article, please call your bank directly, or call your local HICAP for assistance at 707-444-3000.