Identity theft: protect yourself

Identity theft is a serious crime that happens when someone uses your personal information without your consent to commit fraud or other crimes.

Personal information includes things like your name and your Social Security, Medicare, credit card, or bank account numbers, and your Medicare account username and password.

Guard your Medicare card and protect your personal information

  • Don’t share your Medicare Number or other personal information with anyone who contacts you by phone, email, or by approaching you in person, unless you’ve given them permission in advance.
  • Medicare, or your Medicare plan representative, will only call and ask for personal information in these situations:
    • A Medicare health or drug plan can call you if you’re already a member of the plan. The agent who helped you join the plan can also call you.
    • A customer service representative from 1-800-MEDICARE can call you if you’ve called and left a message or a representative said that someone would call you back.
  • Only give personal information like your Medicare Number to doctors, insurance companies (and their licensed agents or brokers) or plans acting on your behalf, or trusted people in the community who work with Medicare like your State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP).
  • Be familiar with how Medicare uses your personal information. If you join a Medicare plan, the plan will let you know how it will use your personal information.

If someone calls you and asks for your Medicare Number or other personal information, hang up and call us at 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227). TTY: 1-877-486-2048.

If you suspect identity theft, or feel like you gave your personal information to someone you shouldn't have, contact the Federal Trade Commission.

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