How to Help Your Clients Avoid Scams

When uncertainty abounds, scammers seize the opportunity to manipulate people’s fear and anxiety. Here’s how to help your clients better protect themselves from scams.

Tell Your Clients to Keep Their Information Secure

Criminals might try to steal money or sensitive personal information such as Social Security Numbers, Medicare ID numbers, credit card numbers or bank account details. Scammers might even offer free test kits or devices as a lure to get clients’ Medicare ID numbers. In 2019, federal law enforcement took down one of the largest healthcare-fraud schemes ever involving worthless and medically unnecessary genetic cancer tests. Remind your clients to keep their personal information safe and secure. If someone calls your client out of the blue claiming to be with the government and threatens them or promises them money, tell them to hang up and report the call to an authority like the Federal Communications Commission. The IRS, for example, first contacts citizens through the mail. Medicare will only contact clients if they’ve given permission to do so in advance. Warn your clients to watch out for red flags like asking for credit, debit or Medicare ID numbers or offering gifts or money in exchange for information. Remind them to always safeguard their information.

Tell Your Clients to Be Wary of “Miracle” Cures

While we live in an information age, not all information is created equal. Just because your client sees something on the Internet or in their inbox does not make it true, especially when it comes to so-called miracle cures or home remedies for a new virus. If it sounds too good to be true, remind your clients to be skeptical and verify the claims with reliable news sources like national news outlets and government sites rather than social media. Tell your clients to be wary of online vaccinations or ads for test kits. Help your clients avoid health complications from misusing untested drugs, ingesting toxic solutions or engaging in unsafe behaviors by pointing them to reputable information sources like the World Health Organization, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and their state and local government.

Tell Your Clients It’s Okay to Ask for Help

Being the victim of a scam can be embarrassing and cause shame, which can prevent many people from seeking help. Empower your clients to seek help. Be empathetic, listen to them and help connect them with resources. Their first step should be reporting the scam to the authorities. If your clients are unsure about which government agency to report to, start with the police. If the scam involved a specific card or ID, report it to that organization. For example, if the scam involved the client’s Social Security number, report it to the Social Security Administration. If it involved their Medicare ID number, report it to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. Remind them that reporting the scam helps to prevent future victims.

As an Agent, you’re positioned as a resource and an advocate for your clients. Help them lead healthier and safer lives by educating them about these health-related scams. Remember, if you ever need additional assistance when it comes to serving Humana clients, you can always reach out to your local support team.

Looking for other ways you can help clients outside the doctor’s office? You can start by helping to improve their well-being through social determinants of health. Listen to our podcast, What You Can Do to Help Members Improve Their Health.