COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — Tis the season for open enrollment!

If you’re on Medicare, the annual enrollment period runs now through December 7. But use caution when choosing your coverage for 2023. Fraudulent activity targeting beneficiaries is an increasing problem, especially this time of year.  

“It has increased because unfortunately, in some cases, it’s working,” said Dalton Miller, Vice President of Seniority Benefit Group, a Medicare guidance firm in Dublin. “Seniors today and Medicare beneficiaries today are receiving countless unsolicited phone calls, text messages, mail, their mailbox is full.”

Miller said Medicare beneficiaries should be wary of unexpected phone calls or messages from unknown sources, especially if they ask for specific information.

“Asking for your Medicare ID number, telling you that you’re going to lose coverage if you do not enroll with a plan with them today,” said Miller.

Also, if they offer gifts in exchange for enrolling in a plan, ask for your bank information, or ask for your social security number, those are also red flags.

“That’s when you put yourself at risk of a scam,” said Miller. “Someone trying to take advantage of your personal information.”

Miller’s advice is to ignore them, and consider instead working with a trusted, local Medicare advisor.

“Somebody who knows your doctor, somebody who understands local formularies. Once you get enrolled in a plan that you know you’re comfortable with, and you have a Medicare advisor you’re comfortable with, tune out the noise,” said Miller. “Don’t worry about it anymore. Because you put yourself at risk of making a mistake.”

If you find yourself caught up in suspicious or fraudulent Medicare enrollment, Miller suggested consulting with a local advisor, or find help through Medicare’s website.