Have you ever received a call from someone who said they were “Becky from Medicare”? This may sound innocent enough at first blush, but there have been many reports of fraudulent calls where someone identifies themselves this way. Here’s the scoop on what’s happening and why you don’t want to engage with “Becky from Medicare.”
The Scoop on This Fraudulent Call
According to AARP, “Becky from Medicare” has called people to say she is a patient advocate who works closely with Medicare. Becky says that Medicare is offering genetic cancer screening around the U.S. and advises that anyone over age 50 get tested. “If you do not act soon, Medicare may label you as ineligible for coverage,” she says. Then, callers are advised to press 1 to speak to a specialist. At some point, you are prompted to give your Medicare number.
When an AARP reporter investigated further and pressed 1, he learned that the so-called specialists who answered the phone could not give the medical name for the genetic screening test they would offer.
When the same reporter asked if he should check with his doctor before ordering the test, he was dissuaded against it multiple times. The reporter stopped the call at this point because accepting the test would have prompted the need to give a Medicare member number, which could have been used fraudulently.
In 2021, the “Becky from Medicare” call was the number-one robocall in almost every community, according to the company Nomorobo.
Medicare does not typically cover genetic screening except for very limited situations. It would also not be typical for Medicare to discourage someone from talking to their doctor.
Scams like “Becky from Medicare” may not take money directly out of your pocket, but the use of your Medicare number could be sold to other fraudsters. Scams like this one also have a negative financial impact on Medicare.
If you receive a call from “Becky from Medicare” or any similar call, keep these cautions in mind:
- Talk to your doctor about the need for any health testing, including genetic testing.
- Call Medicare directly to find out if this type of offer is legitimate (it probably won’t be, but you can always check).
- When in doubt, hang up the phone.
Call Secure Aging to Find Out How We Can Help Seniors With Care Management
At Secure Aging in Bradenton, we transform the weight of the world into a sigh of relief for our senior clients and their concerned family members. The mission of Secure Aging is to protect and preserve our client's independence and dignity through careful and thoughtful financial and care management. As our client's age, they desire to remain independent and age with dignity. Our services protect our clients from talented con artists looking to exploit and deplete the financial resources of our vulnerable seniors. Secure Aging helps families in Manatee County and Sarasota County and in and around the communities of Anna Maria, Bradenton, Bradenton Beach, Ellenton, Holmes Beach, Lakewood Ranch, Longboat Key, Myakka City, Palmetto, Parrish, and Sarasota. Call us at 941-761-9338, or visit us online at www.secureaging.com.