Discount prescription cards have been around for a few years now, and many have found relief with them. Offered through government programs, insurance and pharmaceutical companies, some are meant for lower income individuals and others for seniors. But not all are as they seem. On its website, the FTC posted information regarding a discount card scam that targeted seniors. Stating that they were affiliated with either insurance companies or the government, and that these cards would give massive discounts on prescriptions and that some would even be free. They demanded bank account information stating that if seniors did not comply, it could affect their Medicaid benefits. They then withdrew around $300 out of the bank accounts given, with many never receiving their cards.
What to look for
As this website advises, no company is authorized to sell cards for discount prescriptions door-to-door or by the phone. If any company calls you offering a card, chances are they are not legitimate. Cards offered by insurance providers or pharmaceutical companies may be available by calling the companies directly or available to be printed off for free on their website but consumers should always make sure it is offered by the company and not a scammer site posing as them. Some cards may have a minor cost associated with them (similar to a Costco membership) but no legitimate one will ask for a Social Security Number or bank account information. If they do, call the FTC immediately to report them.
If you are concerned about being at risk of discount prescription card scams or other schemes, there are many things you can do to lower the risk. Above all, trust your gut, but consider the following too:
1) Beware what you share. Don’t give out personal or confidential information with strangers over the phone or at the door. Legitimate companies will often already have the information they need, whether it is for discount prescription cards or other products.
2) Make a few calls. If someone calls you saying they represent the government, your insurance company, or other companies, and something doesn’t seem right, hang up and call the numbers you have for them (they can be found online or via company paperwork).
3) Beware of the hard sell. Scammers work by creating pressure and urgency. If at anytime during their pitch they apply pressure you, back out and give yourself space to think.
Legitimate cards for discount prescriptions can offer consumers valuable discounts and savings on many generic and brand name pharmaceuticals. People can get discounts anywhere from 10-80% but it is important to ensure that the card is genuine. More tips can be found online and many sites such as Snopes and others dedicate themselves to uncovering scams and myths, protecting the consumer. Other resources include many government websites such as the Police, FBI and FTC.
A discount prescription is a great thing that is available to everyone, and its free! But that doesn’t mean that there aren’t people out there trying to take advantage of the program. Do your homework and choose a discount company you can trust.
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