A simple solution for stopping Medicare card theft

When you get a Medicare card, you're told to always have it with you. But in many cases, the number on that card is your Social Security number, and you don't want that to fall into the wrong hands.

So do you really need to carry your Medicare card with at all time?

"No, on a day-to-day basis, not really. Ordinarily, if you're just going about your business there's really no reason to have the card with you," says Steve Toporoff of the Federal Trade Commission.

He suggests a better way - make a photo copy of the card.

"And then blank out with a Magic Marker like a black Magic Marker the Social Security number or Medicare number," he says.

Then copy the card again, to make sure no one could ever read that number.

"That way, you have something with you that has the vital information that's on a Medicare card," he says.

Toporoff says that may not be accepted by a new doctor, but for everyday situations, if you want to have your Medicare card with you, that's the way to go.

Be sure to safeguard that original when it's at home.


More Information:

Does Your Medicare Card Expose You to Identity Theft?v

Seniors: Protecting Yourself from Identity Theft

FTC: Identity Theft