Action Line Consumer Alert: Brace Scam

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Officials are warning the public about another scam targeting seniors called the brace scam.

The medicare scam has delivered unneeded orthopedic braces to thousands of seniors via foreign call centers. Experts say these scammers are trying to convince you to get a free brace and they’ll take care of all the paperwork for you.

“You don’t know who you’re dealing with, you’re giving your personal information to a company you have no prior relationship with,” said Stephen Levins, Executive Director of the Office of Consumer Protection. “You’re giving them your medicare number which is very significant information, it’s like giving someone your credit card number.”

Another concern is when these scammers ask for personal information to keep for their records. They’ll use that to send unwanted braces to homes. 

“Even though you didn’t indicate to them that you need the device or that you want the brace they’ll send it to you anyway so you’re getting something you didn’t request or that you never ordered and then medicare thinks you didn’t want it and if that ever happens you need to send it back.”

Falling victim to this scam may cause some trouble with medicare in the long run because they may think you’re a part of the scheme.  

Levins suggest one way to avoid this scam is consulting with your doctor first before agreeing to receiving any medical equipment over the phone.  

“Have a conversation with your doctor, find out if you need it and in many cases it will be covered by medicare.”

If you have a concern or are interested in becoming an action line volunteer, give us a call monday through friday at 591-0222. You can also send an email to actionline@khon2.com.

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