Avoiding Scams

Health Care Fraud Prevention

The Senior Medicare Patrol (SMP) works with Medicare beneficiaries, their families, and caregivers to prevent, detect, and report Medicare fraud, errors, and abuse. Call the SMP for assistance  1-800-432-2080. Click here for more information.

There are three steps to prevent Medicare fraud, errors, and abuse:

1. Protect

  • Treat your Medicare ID number like a credit card number.
  • Only give your Medicare ID number to your trusted Medicare providers.
  • Never give out your Medicare ID number over the phone. Medicare will not call and ask for it.
  • Do not carry your Medicare card unless you need it for an appointment.

2. Detect

  • Keep a record of your medical visits, tests, and procedures in a health care journal. The SMP can provide a health care journal to you. Call 1-800-432-2080.
  • Review your Medicare statements. Look for the following:
    1. Services not provided.
    2. Services that are different from provided.
    3. Billing for the same thing twice.
    4. Services that are not medically necessary.

3. Report

  • If you detect questionable information on your Medicare statement, call Medicare and the provider to rule out an error (if you know and trust the provider).
  • If you are not comfortable calling Medicare and the provider or you are not satisfied with the response, call the New Mexico SMP at 1-800-432-2080.

Additional Resources

Medical Discount Plans

Discount plans are not health insurance. Click here to visit the Federal Trade Commission’s website for their online fact sheet.

Scam Alerts

In partnership with the NM Attorney General’s Office, Aging and Long-Term Services has established Scam Alert notifications.

Please fill out the form below if you wish to receive Scam Alert notices.

You may also visit the NM Attorney General’s page, to obtain more detailed information about current and active scams.

Beware of Fraud Schemes Associated with COVID-19 Scams

As awareness about the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic grows, so do the scams associated with it. Scammers use public health emergencies as opportunities for new fraud schemes, and because older adults are at greater risk for serious illness from COVID-19, they often target these more vulnerable populations. Click the link below to learn more.

Coronavirus Scams Fraud Alert

What scams target senior citizens?

  • Identity Theft
  • Health Care and Health Insurance Fraud
  • Telemarketing Fraud
  • Internet Scams
  • Sweepstakes Scams
  • And Many Others

How do I protect myself and loved ones from scammers?

View the following resources for information and tips on avoiding Social Security scams

  • The Social Security Administration will never threaten, scare, or pressure you to take an immediate action.
  • Social Security is here to help. 

Important Tips for Avoiding Scams:

  • Do not wire money to anyone unless you are absolutely sure it is someone you know and trust. Once wired funds are picked up, there is very little law enforcement can do to retrieve the money.
  • Unless you made the contact, do not give out your personal information.
  • Do not send a check, cash, or money order to anyone insisting upfront immediate payment before a service is rendered and never give out your account information.
  • When selling anything online, beware of anyone who wants to overpay and asks you to reimburse the difference.

I need help. Where do I start? Call us. 1-800-432-2080

Need help? Click here to call us. 1-800-432-2080

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