Tips to Protect Yourself During OEP

During Medicare’s Open Enrollment Period (Oct. 15-Dec. 7) you may receive an increase in unsolicited phone calls. Some may be legitimate calls from your plan. However, scammers often take advantage of the Open Enrollment Period to try to steal your personal and/or medical identity information.

Below are some tips to protect yourself and avoid Medicare fraud during the current Open Enrollment Period for 2024.

  • Don’t Answer! Let unknown calls go to voicemail. When we answer spam calls, our number gets sold to other scammers. 
  • Beware of Caller ID Spoofing! Scammers can “spoof” their phone number to make it look like a local number.
    • Confirm the Call! Call the number that YOU have on file for your doctor or other familiar company. You cannot trust Caller ID these days!
  • Guard your Card! Your Medicare number is as important as your Social Security Number, and as valuable as your credit card number. Scammers often pose as Medicare or a “Medicare partner” asking:
    • “Have you received your new Medicare card?”
    • “You are eligible for new benefits! I just need to confirm your Medicare number.”
  • Protect Personal Information! Scammers may already have personal information when they call you. They often use those details to confirm personal information, to obtain more or to gain your trust.
  • Beware Social Engineering! Be aware of people who try to scare you or threaten you with “urgent” issues over the phone, or who offer items that are “free” or sound to good to be true.
  • Read your Statements! Check your Medicare Summary Notice (MSN) or Explanation of Benefits (EOB) to catch charges for items or services that you don’t recognize.
  • Call SHIIP-SMP! Call Iowa SHIIP-SMP at 1-800-351-4664 if you think you may have experienced Medicare fraud or a scam. We are here to help!

While scammers seem to ramp up their efforts during the Open Enrollment Period, Medicare fraud and scams can take place year-round. Use these tips to protect yourself and catch scammers all year! Medicare fraud is now estimated to cost the public Medicare trust more than $100 billion every year. By staying aware and following these tips – you can both protect yourself and help protect the Medicare trust for future generations.

Be wary of anyone who uses tactics described above to sell you a Medicare Advantage plan. When in doubt, or if you are concerned you may have experienced a case of Medicare marketing fraud, contact SHIIP-SMP to get answers and support. You can reach SHIIP-SMP between 8am-4pm on Monday through Friday at: 1-800-351-4664 or via email at