The National Consumer Protection Technical Resource Center: The Center of Service & Information for SMPs

Health Care Fraud

From the Office of Inspector General (OIG), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services

Telemarketing Fraud

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 these solicitors.

Report Suspected Fraud

To report suspected fraud, click here.