Alameda County District Attorney's Office
Nancy E. O'Malley, District Attorney

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New Medicare Cards - DA’s Tips to Avoid Fraud

Alameda County D.A. joins Medicare to warn seniors of possible scams as new Medicare cards arrive in East Bay

On May 29, 2018, Alameda County District Attorney Nancy O’Malley was joined by a Medicare official and a representative of the nonprofit Senior Medicare Patrol to discuss the rollout of new Medicare cards to 245,000 Alameda County residents. The new cards will begin arriving in local mailboxes soon. Social Security numbers have been removed from them to prevent identity theft against seniors, keep scammers from using Medicare benefits illegally, and protect tax dollars.


Important tips to avoid falling victim to fraud include:

  1. Don’t pay for your new card. It’s yours for free. If anyone calls and says you need to pay for it, that’s a scam.
  2. Don’t give personal information to get your card. If someone calls claiming to be from Medicare, asking for your Social Security number or bank information, that’s a scam. Hang up. Medicare will never ask you to give personal information to get your new number and card.
  3. Don’t give your bank account information to people you don’t know. If someone offers to deposit a rebate or bonus into your bank account because you got a new Medicare card, that’s a scam.
  4. Don’t let anyone trick you into believing your Medicare benefits will be canceled unless you give them your Medicare Number. If someone threatens to cancel your health benefits if you don’t share your Medicare Number, hang up!
  5. Destroy your old Medicare card. Once you get your new Medicare card, destroy your old Medicare card and start using your new one right away. Don’t just throw the old card away—shred it or cut it into small pieces.
  6. Guard your card. When you get your new card, safeguard it like you would any other health insurance or credit card. While removing the Social Security number cuts down on many types of identity theft, you’ll still want to protect your new card because identity thieves could use it to get medical services or equipment. Unlike a Social Security number, which is difficult to change, you can get a different Medicare number if needed.

Posted on May 29, 2018