Seniors’ Checks Also Come With Scams

As Ohio senior citizens this week begin to receive $250 Medicare rebate checks in the mail from the federal government, Ohio Attorney General Richard Cordray is warning seniors to watch out for accompanying scams.

"The release of these checks, while clearly a very good thing, unfortunately will also bring about an onslaught of scams targeting older Ohioans," said Cordray. "We know that some seniors may not be expecting the check or may not fully understand that the checks come with no strings attached. Unfortunately, we also expect that some pretty sophisticated con artists will be looking to capitalize on that element of surprise and confusion. Our best line of defense is to generate awareness."

The first batch of $250 checks was sent out last week by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services as a result of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA). The rebate checks will be sent to eligible Medicare recipients who have fallen through a gap in prescription drug coverage known as the "donut hole." The one-time, tax-free check will be sent in batches once a month until the end of the year.

Cordray said Ohioans should be wary of scams, particularly if they receive a solicitation over the phone or in the mail that:

  • Asks for their Medicare card number
  • Asks for their Social Security number
  • Says they must apply for the $250 rebate
  • Asks for their bank account information
  • Tells them to complete a form to receive the rebate
  • Instructs them to click on a link or visit a website other than
  • Asks for money to cover taxes associated with the rebate
  • Says they must send money via wire transfer (for any reason)
  • Says there's been a problem with their rebate check
  • Tells them to send money to receive their check early

For more information on the rebate checks, call (800) MEDICARE. Ohioans who feel that they are the target of a scam should contact Cordray's office at or (800) 282-0515.

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