Sunday, October 1, 2023

Scammers Weekly: Remember, nothing really comes for free

(WYDaily file/Courtesy of Pixabay)
(WYDaily file/Courtesy of Pixabay)

WYDaily has collaborated with AARP to raise awareness about scams people need to watch out for.

A scam will be featured every Wednesday, so be sure to always check and be in the know.

This week: the free Medicare device scam

One tell-tale sign that should make every consumer suspicious is when something is offered “for free.”

These free offer scams are often associated with Medicare.

The program spends around $6 billion a year on medical devices, and a market this big draws scammers, according to AARP.

In a medical equipment scam, someone reaches out with an offer of a “free” brace, wheelchair or other device.

All they need is your Medicare number.

Once they have it, scammers can use it to bill the government for devices and services that aren’t needed, according to the AARP.

Medicare fraud results in higher deductibles and copays for Medicare beneficiaries, and can even put affected patients at risk.

Be suspicious of “unsolicited free offers” and never give out your Medicare number to anyone who isn’t a trusted health care provider.

Visit the AARP Fraud Watch Network by clicking here or call the AARP Fraud Watch Network Helpline at 877-908-3360 to report a scam or get help if you’ve fallen victim.

John Mangalonzo
John Mangalonzo
John Mangalonzo ( is the managing editor of Local Voice Media’s Virginia papers – WYDaily (Williamsburg), Southside Daily (Virginia Beach) and HNNDaily (Hampton-Newport News). Before coming to Local Voice, John was the senior content editor of The Bellingham Herald, a McClatchy newspaper in Washington state. Previously, he served as city editor/content strategist for USA Today Network newsrooms in St. George and Cedar City, Utah. John started his professional journalism career shortly after graduating from Lyceum of The Philippines University in 1990. As a rookie reporter for a national newspaper in Manila that year, John was assigned to cover four of the most dangerous cities in Metro Manila. Later that year, John was transferred to cover the Philippine National Police and Armed Forces of the Philippines. He spent the latter part of 1990 to early 1992 embedded with troopers in the southern Philippines as they fought with communist rebels and Muslim extremists. His U.S. journalism career includes reporting and editing stints for newspapers and other media outlets in New York City, California, Texas, Iowa, Utah, Colorado and Washington state.

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