Police are warning Medicare beneficiaries to beware of scammers and identity thieves in southwest suburban Palos Park.
Scams and identity thefts targeted toward Medicare beneficiaries increase during Medicare Open Enrollment, which begins Oct. 15, according to Palos Park police.
Most of the scams involve people posing as Medicare employees calling beneficiaries and asking for their name, social security number or financial information. Many scammers will claim they are calling to “verify your identity” and ask you to prove your identity by providing information, in order to receive a new or updated Medicare card, police said.
Other scammers will offer free medical supplies or a no-expense check-up over the phone if the person provides their social security number and credit card number for shipping costs, or will say the beneficiary is owed a refund from Medicare, police said.
Some scams are carried out via email, through the mail, or in person by someone going door-to-door, but phone calls are the most common, police said.
To avoid falling victim to one of these schemes, police recommend contacting Medicare directly before giving out any personal information.
Anyone targeted by a suspected scammer can contact the Federal Trade Commission’s ID Theft Hotline at 1-877-438-4338.