‘Becky with Medicare’ isn’t for real

More than 600,000 robocalls were recently made to Washington residents from “Becky with Medicare” in an apparent scam aimed at getting personal information fraudulently.

SHIBA, a state-managed Medicare information and assistance program, publicized reports from AARP Washington that recipients of the bogus phone calls are asked to “press 1 to speak to a representative.” The representative then tries to collect information to send out genetic/DNA test kits. The calls are reportedly coming from phone numbers in West Palm Beach, Fla.

SHIBA and AARP advise anyone receiving such calls to do the following:

  • Don’t give out your Medicare number or Social Security number. Be cautious of any unsolicited requests for your Medicare or Social Security numbers. If your personal information is compromised, it may be used in other fraud schemes.
  • Don’t consent to any virus tests over the phone or at senior centers, health fairs, or in your home. If you think you need the test, talk to your doctor.
  • Monitor your Medicare Summary Notice to see if there are any services you didn’t have or didn’t want but were billed. Notices are sent every three months if you get any services or medical supplies during that three-month period.

SHIBA, a program of the state insurance commissioner, can help prevent, detect and report Medicare and Medicaid fraud and abuse. SHIBA can be contacted online or at 1-800-562-6900.