Fraud hurts us all!

According to the National Council on Aging, one in 10 Americans over 60 can become the victim of fraud each year. Fraudsters are very determined and will take advantage of your kindness.

They can be a stranger, or someone you know well. These criminals will try to trick, lie or even threaten you. The best thing you can do is stop being polite and protect yourself!

In a special fraud video, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana’s manager of Federal Investigations, Kandyce Cowart, shares five steps to stop scammers.

Steps include:

Step 1: Hang up the phone if things don’t seem right.

This is true even if you recognize the number. Scammers can fake a number you know to gain your trust. Remember to never give any personal information such as your Medicare number or your health plan information over the phone to anyone you don’t know.

Step 2: Walk away and don’t look back.

Don’t worry about seeming rude. Just because someone presents themselves as a trusted source or an authority figure doesn’t mean they are.

Step 3: Refuse medical tests, equipment or medicines not ordered by your own doctor.

Don’t let strangers conduct medical procedures, like swabbing your cheek. You should also not accept medicines or medical equipment even if you are told it is “free” to you.

Step 4: Protect your personal information.

Don’t share with anyone, especially if they’re using scare tactics or creating a sense of urgency. Call the number on the back of your insurance member ID card if you have any questions.

Step 5: Report suspected Fraud immediately.

If you feel you may have become the victim of fraud, report it immediately. It is important to share anything that doesn’t seem right. You could be protecting yourself – and others – who the criminals may be targeting next!

Don’t worry about being polite. Protect yourself first. Remember that fraud hurts us all!

If you have any questions, Blue Cross is here to help! You can reach Blue Cross’s Fraud Hotline by calling 1-800-392-9249 or emailing us at fraud@bcbsla.com.

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