Monday, May 2, 2022

How Do I Stop Medicare Calls

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Free And Paid Services To Stop Robocalls

Help with Medicare…stop the Telemarketers

For a number of years, junk calls were relatively few and far between for most people. The National Do Not Call Registry worked well for a while. Legitimate companies were generally very compliant, and the violations that did occur were rare. Those that did violate the law were subject to heavy fines.

But over the last few years, the number of junk calls started climbing. Nearly 46 billion robocalls went out in 2020, according to the YouMail Robocall Index.

Its gotten to the point that you need every advantage you can get to keep the robocallers at bay.

Thankfully, the Federal Communications Commission has issued a mandate for all voice service providers to have the robocall-fighting STIR/SHAKEN technology in place by no later than , according to a news release. Well explain in a bit exactly what that means.

But since its still months away, this article is going to take a look at whats out there to help you with ending robocalls in your life right now.

What Happens If You Answer A Robocall

If you receive a spam robocall, the best thing to do is not answer. If you answer the call, your number is considered ‘good’ by the scammers, even if you don’t necessarily fall for the scam. They will try again because they know someone on the other side is a potential victim of fraud. The less you answer, the fewer robocalls you will receive.

However, the difficulty is knowing when a call is a robocall and if that robocall is a spam robocall.

In recent years, spoofing calls have become more common. Spoof callers deliberately change the name or number displayed as the caller ID when calling. Often, this is to mimic a real company or person’s name to deceive you into taking the call. For this reason, when you tap the answer button, be careful.

You can minimize the risk of being scammed by following these tips:

Seniors Be Aware Of Fraud Callers:

  • To verify your identity
  • To verify your financial information
  • Tries to tell you that you need a new Medicare card
  • Says that you will get Free Medical Supplies
  • Tells you that you have Free offers like a Medical checkup for freebut they need to verify your Social Security number or beneficiarys unique Medicare Number or Credit Card number to pay for bogus shipping costs, etc.
  • Says you are owed a refund and need your bank account information

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Stop Unwanted Robocalls And Texts

FCC Announces Anti-Robocall Actions

Acting Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel has announced anti-robocall actions, including: issuing the largest robocall fine in FCC history, sending cease-and-desist letters to six voice providers that have consistently violated FCC guidelines on the use of autodialed and prerecorded voice message calls, launching a Robocall Response Team, and formally reaching out to renew state-federal partnerships to combat the proliferation of illegal robocalls.

FCC Consumer Video: Don’t Hang On, Hang Up! – To watch this video with captions, click “play,” then the “CC” icon.

Unwanted calls including illegal and spoofed robocalls – are the FCC’s top consumer complaint and our top consumer protection priority. These include complaints from consumers whose numbers are being spoofed or whose calls are being mistakenly blocked or labeled as a possible scam call by a robocall blocking app or service. The FCC is committed to doing what we can to protect you from these unwelcome situations and is cracking down on illegal calls in a variety of ways:

Check out the consumer guide on , which includes information on many of the call blocking and labeling tools currently available to consumers.

File a complaint with the FCC if you believe you have received an illegal call or text, or if you think you’re the victim of a spoofing scam. Click the tabs below for tips, FAQs and resources.

Why Youre Getting Bombarded With Mail And Phone Calls

Prevent Medicare Fraud: Information for Providers &  Their ...

Its plain and simple: YOU’RE TURNING 65. Thats it. Really, thats the only reason. Medicare, insurance companies, insurance agents, etc. are all contacting you because youre turning 65.

Now, nobody knows your specific situation:

  • You could have very good health insurance coverage as a retiree
  • You might already be on Medicare because of a disability
  • You may qualify for Medicaid
  • You might have full benefits as a veteran, through VA benefits or Tricare

Whichever of these situations you may be in, you have different needs for both Medicare and for supplemental insurance. But, the people calling you and sending you mail dont know your situation. All they know is youre turning 65 and you need to do something about Medicare.

So every phone call and piece of mail pretty much falls into one of three different categories. Lets take a look at what they are, starting with the less important stuff first

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Why Have They Gotten Worse

If I’m getting overwhelmed by spam calls that are violations of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act , why can’t I just sue them into oblivion?

“Federal courts have used a decision called Spokeo to curtail TCPA lawsuits,” said attorney Scott Owens, a litigator who specializes in these kinds of cases. “Spokeo held you can’t go into federal court for just a violation of federal law.”

The 2016 6-2 Supreme Court decision in Spokeo Inc. v. Robins has had broad implications in the rise of spam robocalling. Spokeo came to mean that being annoyed isn’t enough to sue an illegal telemarketer in federal court. A plaintiff needs to be injured, which makes it much harder to build a case against telemarketing operations doing flagrantly illegal things that rarely injure people.

If the federal courts are out of the picture, why not state courts? That’s also a no go, Owens said, as many states follow the same Article III injury standard as the federal courts, and plenty of other states, including New York, have a bar on bringing purely statutory violations to class actions. As a result, even if a dogged, furious person trying to sue a telemarketer took the full measure of legal remedies available to them, best they could probably win is $1,500.

With judgments that low, the risk has become negligible. And even if caught, there’s nothing stopping spam callers from closing down one operation and winding up another.

What Can A Scammer Do With Your Medicare Number

A scammer could say there is a balance on your Medicare card and request your credit card number. Clearly, this is a scam. Or, in some cases, the scammer could say they want to refund money back to you and need your bank information. In either of these scenarios or similar situations, do not give out your personal information. Medicare will never call you asking for bank information or credit card numbers.

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Stuff You’re Getting From Insurance Companies

Insurance companies are directly going to send you things and call you up…

Youll hear from big companies youve heard of before like Humana, AARP, Blue Cross, Mutual of Omaha, and Aetna. And, youll even get contacted by smaller companies that specialize in Medicare insurance and life insurance like Bankers Fidelity, Equitable, or Manhattan Life.

These insurance companies will be sending you information for all types of Medicare insurance: Medicare Supplements, Prescription Drug Plans, and Medicare Advantage Plans. So, youll likely have a dozen or more different insurance companies sending you advertisements and brochures all wanting you to sign up with their plans. By the time its all said and done, youll have dozens and dozens of mail pieces from these companies.

Keep in mind, many of the plans offered by these insurance companies are identical. However, every company charges a different premium for it. So how do you know what plan is best for you? Ahh, thats where the second category comes in

Hiya Caller Id & Block

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The Hiya Caller ID & Block app is perfect for identifying calls that you want to accept and blocking calls and texts you want to avoid. The Hiya app is available for free on both Apple and Android gadgets with no ads, and it is simple to use. If you had to choose one, this is the best choice, in my opinion.

It allows you to block calls, blacklist unwanted phone numbers and text messages, reverse phone search incoming call information and receive spam alerts. The app is powered by a database of hundreds of millions of phone numbers confirmed to be spam by other users.

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How To Stop Health Insurance Sales Calls After Using Ehealthcom

If you went online looking for health insurance, and you entered you phone number on a website, such as eHealth.com, don’t be surprised if you are then bombarded by spam calls from telemarketers selling health insurance. As far as we can see, from our own personal experiences, eHealth makes your phone number to just about anyone. A few of the callers are legitimate insurance companies.

So, here’s what you need to know:

How To Report A Medicare Call

You can report a fraudulent call from someone claiming they worked for Medicare by going to the FTC Complaint Assistant.

You can help protect yourself from fraudulent activities by never offering credit card or personal information to anyone. The more hands-on your personal information, the more likely you are to receive scam calls.

Many times, when you sign up for new websites, apps, or services, youre sharing personal information. Read the fine print when enrolling in services, some sites sell your phone number and email. Under no circumstances should you be giving out your personal or credit card information over the phone, especially when youre unsure of the person on the other end of the line.

Although it is daunting, looking at the privacy policies before you share your personal information can save you in the long run. Some websites sell your email address and phone number to third parties, so be careful!

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Other Tips To Stop Annoying Phone Calls

If someone calls on behalf of a charity, chances are they work for a for-profit telemarketing company. In that case, you can ask to be taken off their list and off the charitys list.

When someone calls, dont confirm its you if they ask simply ask them why they are calling. If a telemarketer does get you on the phone, explicitly ask to be taken off their list.

If there are a couple of seconds of silence when you say hello, its a robocall waiting to connect you to a live person in a call center. In these cases, just hang up. Another automated call function is when the robocall will ask you to press 1. Dont do this as it will only confirm your identity and lead to more calls.

Fraudsters can put fake numbers on your caller ID, so its hard to trust Caller ID anymore. The best way to avoid these scam calls is not to answer if its a number you dont know.

On cell phones, you can easily block spam callers as well through the cell phones settings feature.

If its debt collectors who are bothering you, learn more about stopping debt collector phone calls on the Federal Trade Commissions FAQs on debt collection.

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As 65th Birthday Nears Phone Rings With Medicare Robocalls

Next month I turn 65, start Medicare and my expensive Obamacare health plan ends. Happy day!!! For the past two years my health plan premiums were almost as much as my mortgage payments. This year, my silver plans $2,500 deductible convinced me to put off doctor visits while I waited for Medicare to start something a growing number of people under the age of 65 are doing, according to data from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. I expect to pay much less for better insurance when Medicare starts, but it took a considerable amount of digging to come up with the best coverage for my budget.

Enrolling in Medicare is a complicated and aggravating process. The system is rigged in favor of supplemental and Medicare Advantage insurers, while Medicare beneficiaries have a tough job figuring out the best health coverage choices. What you dont know could cost you dearly. Like everyone else, I had to learn about my current Medicare coverage options, do cost comparisons, and listen through mind-numbing calls with insurance company representatives.

Clearly the private sector and crooks know when we are turning 65, so why cant Uncle Sam do a better job helping people find their best insurance choices? Medicare could notify 64 – year – olds by letters outlining when their Initial Medicare Enrollment begins, and outline the rules for people who have health insurance through a current or former employers. But so far the public gets little reliable guidance.

How To Stop The Calls

Obviously, you want to stop the calls and prevent this from happening again. Here’s what you do:

  • Get a call screening / call blocking app on your phone. These apps check each call as it comes in and compare the number against numbers reported as being from scammers and spammers, and tell you about the caller before you answer. you can then choose to take the call, reject it or block it.See this page about these apps.
  • Add each number/caller to your phone’s Auto-Reject list. Your phone can automatically block the calls from coming in. On Android phones, after receiving a call from a telemarketer, select the number in your recent calls list, as if you are going to dial it, then press the three vertical dots in the top right part of the screen. You should see “Add to Auto reject list”. Press it. To remove a number from the reject list, just repeat the process.
  • Finally, do NOT enter your phone number on any website . If you want to use a website like eHealth.com, enter a made up phone number, and create a free Gmail account and use that email. That way, you contain all contact from them to that one free email account.
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    Stuff You’re Getting From The Government

    As far as I know, the government can send you any of the following information:

    • Medicare card
    • Confirmation of Medicare start date
    • Notice of changes to Social Security Income due to deducted Medicare premiums
    • Initial Enrollment Questionnaire notice

    Lets take a look at each of these in a bit more detail:

    What Do I Do If I Receive A Medicare Scam Call

    Watch out for Medicare Phone Scams – Senior Medicare Patrol

    If you receive a Medicare scam call, hang up.

    Speaking to the Medicare phone scammers, even to tell them off, can encourage more scammers to call your number. If calls persist, consider discussing certain scam blocking features with your phone company.

    After receiving a Medicare scam phone call that asks for your Medicare number or other personal information, reach out to 1-800-MEDICARE â TTY:â¯1-877-486-2048.

    If you have already discussed personal information on the phone that you now believe is in the wrong hands, contact the Federal Trade Commission to protect yourself from the damages of identity theft.

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    Spam Calls Have Been Around Forever Why Are They Still On The Rise

    Why spam calls continue to grow is simple. Technology advancements have made tracing, blocking, and reprimanding offenders difficult for government organizations such as the FCC and FTC.

    Because of this, spam callers confidence increases each day because they know they will not get caught and will continue relentlessly trying to grow their business until someone proves them wrong.

    Phone spoofing is the number one reason behind the brazen confidence of telephone scammers. Caller ID spoofing allows scammers to place millions of calls each day, each with a unique or masked phone number.

    Because of the widespread legitimate use of the technology, it is next to impossible for responsible government agencies to track these callers without advanced fingerprinting technology found in smartphone apps such as TrapCall.

    Surprisingly, the Do Not Call List is another reason the 2.9 billion spam calls Americans receive each month are persisting. Many believe that after receiving a suspicious call or a confirmed scam call they should register their phone number on the Do Not Call List.

    While this certainly will reduce the number of legal businesses from calling you, it definitely will not stop your spam call problem. In fact, many speculate that registering on the Do Not Call List has actually increased the number of scam calls they receive but no one has ever proven the concept.

    Add More Robocall Protection

    Some of these apps charge a fee, and others offer a free subscription. But some free apps are free only for an introductory period and will automatically begin charging you a fee unless you cancel your subscription before the free trial ends.

    These beefed-up services use algorithms, lists of blacklisted numbers, and proprietary technology to filter out suspicious calls and can supplement the call-blocking and labeling functionality of STIR/SHAKEN. They also give you more control to manually choose which calls can come through and which ones to block.

    But you should consider potential privacy implications before downloading third-party apps, warns Maureen Mahoney, a policy analyst at Consumer Reports.

    There are few restrictions on what these companies can do with your data, so keep in mind that youre trusting developers with sensitive information about your calls, she says.

    For even more privacy protection, there are premium services that offer tools such as access to a virtual private network that can safeguard your data on public WiFi networks.

    Editors Note: This article has been updated to include the May data on robocalls and how carriers are responding to the June 30 deadline for STIR/SHAKEN technology.

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