Do Not Laminate Medicare or Social Security Cards!

Both Medicare and Social Security cards are printed on paper for several very important reasons. First, there are safety security features that are embedded in the paper.

By Audrey Cole

Second, if a card is lost or damaged, it is much easier to replace. Third, paper keeps the cost of producing or reproducing these cards down, thus saving taxpayers money. Fourth … and finally, why would you give out such important and private confidential information to strangers to laminate? This is another tricky way for scammers to slyly obtain important financial and health identities, all while pretending to offer a convenient service. 

Senior Medicare Patrol (SMP), a national federal program that empowers and assists Medicare beneficiaries and their families to prevent, detect, and report Medicare fraud, errors, and abuse has recently received reports of flyers circulating that offer free lamination of Medicare cards. Please do not fall for this latest scam. Alert Senior Medicare Patrol at your local Area Agency on Aging if you see these flyers circulating in our communities, by calling 1-800-994-9422.

Medicare is also not issuing new plastic or replacement cards, nor are they sending out new microchipped, black, or gold cards. These are all efforts by scammers to obtain your Medicare number in order to bill the Medicare program out of millions of dollars. The only reason Medicare will ever issue a new number is if there has actually been medical identity theft, and the Medicare beneficiary has directly requested a new number. Medicare will never call you unless you called them first and asked Medicare to call you in return. Medicare will never cold call you and ask you to verify your personal information. If you did not initiate the call, never provide your personal health or financial information to any unknown caller, especially if the caller insists something bad will happen if you refuse. These are all important red flags to be on the lookout for.

Senior Medicare Patrol relies on you … and a team of volunteers who are the “eyes and ears” in their community, to assist with SMP counseling, outreach, and education. If you suspect a scammer is attempting to steal medical identities or confuse seniors into giving out private confidential information, please report these activities to Senior Medicare Patrol in Connecticut by calling 1-800-994-9422.


This article was written by Audrey Cole, Senior Medicare Patrol Coordinator of Volunteers at the Western CT Area Agency on Aging