Medicare will replace all recipients’ cards this year. Tuesday afternoon on UpWords with Chris Ermer, Mike Bannon, Director of Bucks County’s Department of Consumer Protection, shared tips on what to expect from the inevitable scammers.

WBCB 1490 AM story: 


“I’m so happy the change over is happening,” Bannon told Ermer. “And everyone in the country is going to be getting a new card with a new number.”

Bannon warns of the “red flags” Medicare recipients should watch out for such as calls asking for social security numbers or credit card information. He ensured cardholders should not follow directions of nosy callers about their Medicare information and contact the Consumer Protection office with any questions.

Cardholders will be sent instructions with their new card on how to dispose of their old one.

“A massive amount of new cards will be coming through the mail,” Bannon explained. “However it creates an opportunity for scammers.”

Other than the red, white and blue cards, Ermer and Bannon discussed a personal matter. Earlier that day, the UpWords host had a gloomy morning as his cat passed away. He asked Bannon advice on pet insurance.

Understand your plan, Bannon said along with condolences, “Like any insurance policy out there, whether it’s your car insurance or your homeowners there are different levels of what you can pay for.”

Fortunately, Bannon said pet insurance scams or consumer complaints are not “high on the list of issues.” One matter that does come up each year is IRS false calls.

“It is one of the most successful scams of all time, and we expect it to come back.”

Bannon described the scam as “explosive” in 2017. He explained, one of the biggest warning signs is when fake IRS callers ask for gift cards.

“Residents and listeners need to be on their toes with everything we discussed today.”
Tune in Tuesday afternoons between 1 and 2 p.m. for UpWords with Chris Ermer on WBCB 1490 AM and video streamed on WBCB’s Facebook page.