Friday, June 23 , 2017
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In This Issue
Fraud in the News
The following are current news articles about health care and fraud issues.

Health Care Fraud:

Consumer Fraud:

2.  " Who's Really Calling? " (FTC)
Please share this Fraud Alert with colleagues, consumers, or other professionals in your area. If you have any questions about the Illinois SMP program, or to receive these Fraud Alerts directly, please contact Jason Echols, Healthcare Consumer Protection Coordinator at AgeOptions.
This project was supported, in part by grant number 90MP0216, from the U.S. Administration for Community Living, Department of Health and Human Services, Washington, D.C. 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 Administration for Community Living policy. 

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Dear SMP Readers, 


In this week's Fraud Alert, make sure Medicare has your correct address and set up a "my Social Security" account to track benefits and earnings.

You've Got Mail. Right?
As we have reported in past Fraud Alerts, Medicare is getting ready to issue brand new Medicare cards with new ID numbers to every Medicare beneficiary beginning in April 2018. It is important to remember that your new card will be mailed to you and that Medicare will NOT call you to verify your information (that's a scam).
Before Medicare begins to send these cards in April 2018, ask yourself this important question: Am I getting mail from Medicare? Medicare uses the mail to send beneficiaries important information, including Medicare Summary Notices (MSN) and the annual Medicare & You booklet (unless you have chosen to get these electronically). If you do not receive mail like this or if you receive these electronically, you may want to check that Medicare has your correct address.
Medicare gets your mailing address from the Social Security Administration (SSA). Even if you do not currently receive Social Security benefits, you can check or change your mailing address with SSA by doing one of the following:

  • Create or Log into your "my Social Security" account & check the "My Profile" tab. This is the fastest way to update your address. (See the second article for more information.)
  • Call SSA at (800)772-1212.
  • Visit your local SSA office. Find your local office with the Social Security locator: 
New Medicare numbers will not include a person's Social Security number, which is an important step forward in protecting people's identity from scammers. The Illinois SMP will continue to share information about the new Medicare cards in our Fraud Alert emails. 
Creating a "my Social Security" Account
Creating a "my Social Security" allows you an easy way to change your mailing address, view your Social Security earnings, get proof of benefits and more. Anyone over 18 with a Social Security number, a valid mailing address and an email address can sign up.
SSA works with credit reporting agencies to verify your identity when you sign up online. To sign up online, you must have credit history. If you do not have credit history or have a freeze on your account, you can visit a local Social Security office where they will verify your identity and help you create an online account.
Social Security has taken several steps to make the process of setting up an account more secure, including asking you questions from your credit history that would be very hard for a scammer to know. A few years ago, before these security features, there was a scam where an identity thief could steal your Social Security number and set up an account on your behalf and then have your Social Security benefits sent to their mailing address. This news report from WKYC in Cleveland, OH gives a good summary of this scam.
If you have had your identity stolen, either you can set up your own "my Social Security" account so that someone is not setting it up in your name or you can opt out by contacting Social Security and ask that they block electronic access for you.
If you have never had your identity stolen, setting up a "my Social Security" account is a great tool to track your benefits and earnings. Your risk for this scam is low.
Fraud Alerts contain information about current scams taking place in Illinois, announcements and updates about programs or services related to health care and/or fraud protection, and links to news articles about health care and fraud topics. Please forward any recommendations or announcements that you would like to be included in a future Fraud Alert to