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Federal Trade Commission warns Medicare recipients about back brace scam

Posted at 12:43 PM, Oct 27, 2020

Mysterious packages are popping up on Medicare recipients’ doorsteps and the Federal Trade Commission said it’s part of a rising scam.

"That’s a back brace,” Anna Miller, a 94-year-old Medicare recipient said as she rifled through a package delivered to her home.

Inside the box was a back brace, shoulder brace, and a couple of other pieces of medical equipment, the items came bundled together in a box addressed to Miller.

"They must have thought I was in bad shape to send me both of them in one box,” Miller joked.

She said she never ordered any kind of medical device.

"I thought it was terrible because I figured it was false,” Miller said.

As it turns out, her Medicare account got charged for the back and shoulder brace. It’s a scam the FTC said is on the rise targeting Medicare dollars and personal information.

Miller reached out to Medicare to see what was going on. "They just said they'd look into it and they questioned me,” she said.

Medicare followed up, sending a letter confirming an investigation into the matter. Meanwhile, the FTC is warning Medicare recipients to be aware.

  • If someone calls and says they're with Medicare and offers you a “free” or “low cost” brace, hang up right away.
  • Medicare will never call you with such an offer. Never give your Medicare or other personal information over the phone to anyone.
  • If you do need a brace or medical equipment, talk to your doctor. Sellers on the phone don’t know what you need.
  • Lastly, don't accept medical equipment you get in the mail unless you or your doctor ordered it. You don't have to pay for things you didn't order.

2 Works for You Problem Solvers reached out to the company listed on the box sent to Miller, but have not heard back.

If you are the victim of suspected Medicare fraud, CLICK HERE to report it to Medicare or the FTC immediately

This story was first reported by Cori Duke at KJRH in Tulsa, Oklahoma.