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Consumer alert for people with diabetes from Va. Senior Medicare Patrol

The Virginia Senior Medicare Patrol (SMP) Program has issued an alert to older consumers about telemarketing calls to Virginia Medicare beneficiaries with diabetes. 

This alert from the state follows the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of the Inspector General’s Consumer Alert for People with Diabetes. See below:

Although the precise method may vary, the scheme generally involves someone pretending to be from government, a diabetes association, or even Medicare, calling the diabetic.

The caller offers “free” diabetic supplies, such as glucose meters, diabetic test strips or lancets. The caller may also offer other supplies such as heating pads, lift seats, foot orthotics, or joint braces, in exchange for the beneficiary’s Medicare or financial information, or confirmation of this type of personal information. 

Additionally, diabetics may receive items in the mail that they did not order.

These calls are scams. If you receive such a call, the Office of the Inspector General recommends the following actions:

1.    Protect Your Medicare and Other Personal Information

Do not provide or confirm your Medicare number or other personal information.  Be suspicious of anyone who offers free items or services and then asks for your Medicare number or financial information. These calls are not coming from Medicare, or other similar organizations. While the caller says the items or “free,” the items are still billed to Medicare. Once your Medicare information is in the hands of a dishonest person or supplier, you are susceptible to other scams.

2.    Report the Call to Law Enforcement

Report the call to the OIG hotline at 1-800-447-8477 or the Senior Medicare Patrol in Virginia (1-800-938-8885).  As part of your report, provide the name of the company that called you, the company’s telephone number and address, and a summary of your conversation with the caller.

3.    Check Your Medicare Summary Notice and Medical Bills

Check your Medicare Summary Notice and other medical information to see if you were charged for items you did not order or did not receive. Also, check for items that were billed multiple times. Report any irregular activity to your health care provider and the OIG hotline at 1-800-447-8477.

4.    Do Not Accept Items That You Did Not Order

You are under no obligation to accept items that you did not order. Instead, you should refuse the delivery and/or return to the sender.  Keep a record of the sender’s name and the date you returned the item(s) to help OIG catch any future illegal billing.

If you think you have been a target of a scam, report it to the Virginia Senior Medicare Patrol program at 1-800-938-8885 or visit

The SMP Program is funded by the Administration on Aging, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.  The Virginia Association of Area Agencies on Aging has administered the SMP grant in partnership with 21 local Area Agencies on Aging for 14 years.

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