From the Office of Inspector General (OIG), U.S. Department of
Health & Human Services
Telemarketing in general is legal and can be a useful method of
soliciting people for services they may need. However, many
telemarketing agencies push what is legally acceptable and may even be
an outright hoax.
How the Scam Works
Often the scam involves a diabetic supply company. In this scenario,
the supply company contacts the Medicare beneficiary and offers a new
glucose test monitor. The supply company then obtains a
“lifetime” certification from the beneficiary’s family
physician. It will then begin to automatically ship test strips and
other approved supplies to your home. The volume of strips may exceed
what the beneficiary can possibly use, and she will get billed a
co-pay each time as well. Also, it may be difficult to switch to another
company because the company has a “lifetime”
certification on file.
One new phone fraud involves contacting the beneficiary and saying
he has won a $5,000.00 Health & Human Services “grant”.
This is despite the fact that the beneficiary never applied for a grant.
All the beneficiary has to do is wire money to India to secure the
grant. This is not a legitimate service. If it were, you wouldn’t
have to remit money to receive it, and it certainly would not be sent to
India. Do not fall for this scam.
How to Fight Back
Never give out your Medicare number over the phone unless you
initiated the call.
Never send personal information such as your Medicare number, credit
card number or banking information over the web or over the telephone to