By Tyler Russell
Don’t fall for the free durable medical equipment scam that’s making the rounds among senior citizens.
Here’s how the scam works: seniors get a call saying they qualify for a back brace or a knee brace — completely paid for by Medicare.
The scammers may pretend to be from Medicare, or they may claim to be the maker of durable medical equipment. They tell seniors they qualify for the equipment for free, and they repeatedly call until seniors relent and allow them to submit an order to their doctor for the equipment. Or seniors may say no, but the company ships the brace anyway. Other times the equipment just shows up on their doorstep, and Medicare receives the bill. Often, consumers have a difficult time returning the unnecessary equipment.
By law, no one is allowed to make unsolicited calls to consumers about durable medical equipment. If they do, it’s Medicare fraud. And taxpayers foot the bill for all the unwanted products. If you get such a call, just hang up.
Here’s how to protect yourself and Medicare from durable medical equipment fraud:
Avoid scams by taking these precautions:
To report a scam, go to BBB.org/ScamTracker.
To learn more about health care and Medicare scams, go to BBB.org/HealthCareScam.
» Tyler Russell is the marketplace manager for the Better Business Bureau Northwest and Pacific.
Daily and Monthly NewsSign up now!