Kūpuna are the most vulnerable to online scams due to social isolation during the pandemic. We must stay vigilant, as scammers use more sophisticated ways to steal your personal identity, shame you of your self-worth and steal your life’s legacy. Here are some important tips to avoid becoming a victim:
• Medicare will never call you needing confirmation to pay for medical products or services. Just hang up and call SMP Hawaii.
• Scammers send urgent emails or text messages meant to make you panic: “Act now! Click here!” Stop and look at the fine print. Take time to think clearly before doing anything.
• Never click on a link in a text or email, even it’s from someone you know. Scammers can “spoof” or disguise their calls, texts or emails as being from a known and trusted source.
Find billing errors and abuse by diligently checking to verify your medical statements and bills:
• Keep accurate records of doctor visits, lab tests and surgical equipment, etc.
• Organize and file copies of medical bills received and payments made.
• Review your Medicare Summary Notice or Explanation of Benefits from your health plan for accuracy, and look for suspicious charges for services that you did not receive.
What to do if you mistakenly provided your Medicare number or other personal health information to a possible scammer, including:
• a caller offering a Medicare-approved knee brace, (genetic) testing or other service.
• at a fair booth or stand as an enticement to receive free services or a special gift.
• in response to an ad offering money and/or exclusive benefits.
Call Senior Medicare Patrol Hawaii or visit www.smphawaii.org to report the instances above or to schedule counseling, request a group presentation, or to volunteer to stay informed and safe. In June, SMP Hawaii will celebrate 25 years of helping kūpuna, their families and caregivers.
SENIOR MEDICARE PATROL (SMP) HAWAII
Department of Health — Executive Office on Aging
250 S. Hotel St., Ste. 406, Honolulu, HI 96813
808-586-7281 | Toll Free: 1-800-296-9422
email@example.com | www.smphawaii.org
This project was supported in part by grant number 90MPPG0053 from the US
Administration for Community Living (ACL), Department of Health and Human
Services, Washington, DC, 20201. Grantees undertaking projects under government
sponsorship are encouraged to express freely their findings and conclusions. Points
of view or opinions do not, therefore, necessarily represent official ACL policy.