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Summer insurance scams consumers should be aware of

WASHINGTON, D.C. – At least $80 billion is stolen each year in one of America’s largest and fastest growing financial crimes: insurance fraud.

The Coalition Against Insurance Fraud recently released the “hottest” insurance schemes that scammers are using to get to consumers pocketbooks.

One of the most popular scams occurs during the severe weather season.

Shady contractors continue to prey on homeowners as floods, wildfires, hurricanes and tornadoes damage communities.

Stolen down payments and unfinished work are common scams often used by unlicensed contractors following devastating weather events.

An alert for Americans who are currently on Medicare: Your medical ID could also be stolen as scammers are beginning to exploit confusion about the upcoming shift to Medicare cards that will no longer include the patients social security number.

The change to the Medicare cards is slowly taking effect, however, scammers are already calling seniors claiming that they are from the “federal government.”

The scammers will also claim that┬áneed help to “confirm” personal information such as your social security number, address and bank account numbers in order to “update” your Medicare account.

Medicare.gov has also provided some do’s and don’ts of protecting ┬áMedicare cards from possible fraud.

Another trend among scammers this summer season is the use of other people’s medical ID.

This crime has begun to happen more often as investigators warn that this could lead to false medical charges, which can ruin your credit and cost you thousands.

The Coalition Against Insurance Fraud warns that you should only carry your insurance card for health appointments, as well as regularly check your Explanation of Benefits for phony charges.