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What’s new in 2022?

Scams targeting older adults are becoming more imaginative. Scammers stay on top of whatever is new and then create tactics that best fit the situation. Some of the more popular ploys are Zoom, COVID-19 testing and vaccines, and online shopping.

Fraud predictions for 2022:

As telemedicine continues to evolve, cybercriminals will look for security holes in telehealth apps created for doctor and patient; as well as fake apps that will imitate the real thing.

Medical data breaches will continue to grow, aided by the ever-changing digital technologies for medical equipment worn on the human body to collect sensitive data.

Online medical services such as notifications about test results or messages from doctors can be spoofed as an important “medical” notification, catching victims off guard, similar to fake messages from banks.

Zoom scams include emails, texts, or social media messages that include the Zoom logo and a message saying “your Zoom account has been suspended. Click here to reactivate.”

Online shopping scams involve scammers pretending to be legitimate online sellers using a fake website or a fake ad on a genuine retail site.

And what is old is new again in 2022:

COVID-19 vaccines and testing scams

The U.S. DHS OIG is alerting the public about fraud related to COVID-19.

Scammers are using telemarketing calls, text messages, social media, and door-to-door visits to commit COVID-19 related scams.

Scammers are offering COVID testing, grants, and Medicare prescription cards in exchange for personal information, including Medicare numbers. These services are not approved and are dishonest.

Genetic and

cardiovascular DNA testing scams

Scammers are offering Medicare beneficiaries cheek swabs for genetic testing to obtain Medicare information for fraudulent billing or for medical identity theft.

Medicare will most likely deny the claim, which could make the beneficiary financially responsible at an average cost of $9000 to $11,000.

New Medicare

card scams

Medicare is NOT issuing new cards. Medicare will never call you uninvited, or ask you to verify personal information such as your Medicare number.

Reporting Medicare fraud: ND Senior Medicare Patrol helps seniors prevent, detect and report Medicare fraud. If you suspect you, or someone you know, has been a victim of a Medicare scam, contact the ND SMP at ndsmp@minotstateu.edu or call 1-800-233-1737. For non-Medicare fraud issues, contact the ND Attorney General’s Office at 1-800-472-2600.

The information provided is intended to be a general summary only. Sources of information: U.S. Dept. of HHS OIG (2022, January 4). Fraud alert: COVID-19 scams. Oig.hhs.gov/fraud/consumer-alerts/fraud-alert-covid-19-scams/; Rutzler, E (2021 Dec 2). Fraud, waste, and abuse. What’s old is new again: 3 healthcare fraud trends to watch for in 2022. https://blog.cotiviti.com/whats-old-is-new-again-3-fraud-trends-to-watch-for-in-2022

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