Bargain Basement Deals

New Medicare Card ++First one rejected for Copyright Trademark issues. Please let me know what I need to remove or alter. Is it the DHHS LOGO? Card design curve? Part of number shown? You accept Social Security cards with the same logo. This was accepted in 2018. iStock # 653549364. Just let me know how to get the new card accepted… thanks!++++

When Florida resident Charles McElwee posted on December 7, 2021, an online advertisement promising “Medicare data for sale,” he was not joking. His price: 12 cents a file, a minimum buy of 5,000 files ($600). While it may appear to not be a big deal, medical theft is lucrative. A fraudster can use personal information like a Medicare number to access medical care for their own personal care or to file false claims on your behalf to make money. Heck, they can even do both. Any way you look at it, the McElwee’s ease in gaining Medicare identities is one small reason that Medicare and Medicaid fraud has now become a $100 billion problem.

Starting in July, 2021, McElwee used data mining and social engineering techniques to obtain Medicare Beneficiary Identifiers (BMII) and other personal information that he subsequently advertised and sold online. The information that he gathered included beneficiary names, addresses, dates of birth, Social Security numbers, and Medicare beneficiary identification numbers. McElwee, on December 14, 2021, registered a company called Lead Junkies with the state of Florida.

McElwee’s emails and bank records shows that he bought many of the BINs from fellow fraudsters purporting to be in the Philippines. McElwee repeatedly advertised his bargain basement fraud deals, selling and distributing thousands of BINs to fraudsters in the United States and globally. In one such sale on April 5, 2021, McElwee gave a buyer a bargain, selling the BINs of 83,000 people for $8,000. Overall, McElwee sold 2.6 million BINs and made $310,000. Such a a small amount compared to the cost of damage to the victims and the taxpayers.

Great job by the Department of Health and Human Services.

Today’s Fraud of the Day is based on article “Florida Man Pleads Guilty in Medicare Beneficiary Identifier Trafficking Case” published by HIPAA Journal on March 6, 2023

The Department of Justice has announced one of its first prosecutions under the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 in a case involving the theft and sale of Medicare Beneficiary Identifiers.

The Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA) required the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to remove Social Security numbers from all Medicare cards as part of an effort to prevent fraud, combat identity theft, and safeguard taxpayer dollars and replace them with Medicare Beneficiary Identifiers. MACRA also made it illegal to buy, sell, or distribute Medicare Beneficiary Identifiers without proper authority.

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Larry Benson, Senior Director of Strategic Alliances, LexisNexis Risk Solutions - Government

Larry Benson is responsible for developing strategic partnerships and solutions for the government vertical. His expertise focuses on how government programs are defrauded by criminal groups, and the approaches necessary to prevent them from succeeding.

Mr. Benson has 30 years of experience in sales and business development. Before joining LexisNexis® Risk Solutions, he spent 12 years founding and managing two software technology startups. During the 1990s he spent 10 years as a Regional Director helping to grow a New England-based technology company from 300 employees to 7,000. He started his career with Martin Marietta Aerospace working on laser guided weapons and day/night vision systems.

A sought-after speaker and accomplished writer, Mr. Benson is the principal author of “Fraud of the Day,” a website dedicated to educating government officials about how criminals are defrauding government programs. He has co-authored WTF? Where’s the Fraud? How to Unmask and Stop Identity Fraud’s Drain on Our Government, and Data Personified, How Fraud is Changing the Meaning of Identity.

Benson holds a Bachelor of Science in Physics from Albright College, and earned two graduate degrees – a Master of Business Administration from Florida Institute of Technology, and a Master of Science in Engineering from Lehigh University.