As the government gets ready to roll out new Medicare cards to more than 50 million users, organizations warn the process could open you up to identity theft.

As the government gets ready to roll out new Medicare cards to more than 50 million users, organizations warn the process could open you up to identity theft.

The new cards will no longer have your social security number on them, instead you will be assigned a membership number which uses random numbers and letters.

“The new cards will no longer contain enrollees’ Social Security numbers – a move designed to enhance security and help protect against identity theft. It’s a welcome development but, ironically, the year-long card replacement program has opened a door for con artists,” wrote ARRP in a press release.

The AARP Fraud Watch Network recently launched a campaign to warn people of the potential identity risk.

Scammers posing as Medicare representatives are:

Contacting enrollees and demanding immediate payment via credit card of a processing fee for the new card. There actually is no such fee.

In other cases, scammers say that Medicare needs to “verify” a recipient’s Social Security number or other personal information before issuing the card.

Another version tells beneficiaries they are due a refund in premiums or drug costs, and asks them to provide bank account information for the processing of the alleged refund.

Lifespan in Rochester has a Senior Medicare Patrol team which is also educating the public on the issue, hosting free presentations to keep consumers up to date.

“People are getting calls from scammers asking if they’ve received their card. When they say no, the scammers say, ‘well give me your information and we’ll track it down for you.’ But really they’re stealing their identity,” warned Christina Kolankiewicz, the Senior Medicare Patrol Coordinator with Lifespan.

While the government will begin sending out the new cards in April, Kolankiewicz said they will not start arriving in New York mailboxes until June. It will take up to a year for everyone to get their new card.

“If you get a call from anyone claiming to be from Medicare, asking you to verify your information, just hang up. No one will call you from Medicare, ever,” stressed Gabriel Geiger, the Director of Financial Services with Lifespan.

If you feel like you’ve fallen victim to this crime, you can contact the Senior Medicare Patrol, Lifespan, or local law enforcement.