2006-04-07 / Community

no Medicare drug plan can ask for your bank account or other personal information over the telephone, and recipients should not provide this information to these callers. They should contact the police department if they believe someone is trying to take money or information from them illegally," said Pheffer.

People with Medicare should also remember to be on the lookout for anyone trying to take advantage of them and take steps to protect themselves by remembering:

No one can come into your home uninvited. No one can ask you for personal information during their marketing activities.

Always keep personal information, such as your Medicare number, safe, just as you would a credit card or bank account number.

Whenever you have a question or concern about any activity regarding Medicare, call 1-800-MEDICARE.

Also, legitimate Medicare drug plans will not ask for payment over the telephone or the Internet. They must bill the beneficiary for the monthly premium. Typically, the payment is automatically withdrawn from the beneficiary's monthly Social Security check. Beneficiaries may also opt to pay the monthly premiums in other ways such as writing a check or setting up automatic payments from their checking accounts.

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