State Looks into Reports of Medical Supply Scam

( – Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel is warning residents of a new type of medical scam. There are reports of senior citizens falling victim to a scam involving unnecessary medical supplies, which leave them saddled with the costs. The scam centers around deceptive phone calls from an individual pretending to be a medical doctor, who tells victims they can get a free medical brace paid for by Medicare.

One such scam has been traced back to a firm called Med Leaf Supply Company. Nessel has already negotiated a settlement with Med Leaf Supply, which is no longer permitted to operate in Michigan.

The danger of this type of scam is two-fold: Medicare is already facing significant fraudulent billing, which harms the long-term solvency of the program, and individuals who are embroiled in this kind of fraud can be disqualified from receiving future medical assistance through Medicare.

Fortunately, there are some key steps you can take to prevent this type of scam from impacting you or someone else in your life who may be susceptible to being victimized.

The US Department of Health and Human Services provides guidance for avoiding medical scams.

For one, hang up on anyone who promises to send you a “free” device that will be billed to Medicare.

Never accept any kind of unsolicited delivery of and only accept those you know about after discussing them with a known and trusted medical professional.

Be skeptical of anyone offering free medical equipment especially if they’re also asking for your Medicare numbers, which may be used down the road for further fraud that could impact your Medicare eligibility.

Always report suspected Medicare fraud to the HHS office at 1-800-447-8477.

Nessel also has a general fraud warning for online shoppers this holiday season. Be wary of who you give your credit card or bank information to. Only use trusted vendors and don’t be pressured by anyone to give up personal information over the phone. If it’s a real vendor or medical professional, they should be open to other means of transacting important information.

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