Attorney General Becerra Joins CMS to Announce Release of New Medicare Cards, Issues Consumer Alert for Seniors on Fraud and Identity Theft
California’s 5.7 million Medicare beneficiaries will receive new cards in the mail that no longer include social security numbers
SACRAMENTO – California Attorney General Xavier Becerra issued a consumer alert following today’s joint announcement with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) of a new effort to protect Medicare beneficiaries’ personal information by removing Social Security numbers from Medicare cards. To better safeguard the personal information of 5.7 million California seniors and people with disabilities, CMS will begin issuing new Medicare cards in April 2018 that assign each beneficiary a new 11-digit Medicare identification number.
“It is important that all seniors protect themselves from fraud and keep their information safe. A new Medicare card that no longer includes a person's Social Security number is one important way of achieving this goal. Today’s consumer alert provides additional tools to help seniors protect themselves against scam artists,” said Attorney General Becerra. “At the California Department of Justice, we will continue to take proactive steps to help seniors detect and avoid identity theft scams and fraud. We will vigorously prosecute those who target seniors or exploit our most vulnerable communities.”
In today’s consumer alert, Attorney General Becerra provides additional practical tips to help California seniors protect themselves against identity theft by keeping their Social Security numbers safe. The tips include:
- How to keep physical documents safe;
- How to know when providing a Social Security number is required and when to refuse; and
- How to keep Social Security and Medicare accounts safe from unauthorized access and fraud.
The consumer alert includes valuable information and tips about how to keep confidential documents secure and ways to prevent medical identity theft. The alert encourages seniors to ask questions when third parties ask for their Social Security numbers and provides strategies that seniors can use to protect their personal information against various threats.
Attorney General Becerra has made protecting consumers a top priority. Californians who believe they are victims of identity theft should visit the Attorney General’s Identity Theft First Aid page here.