New Medicare Scam: Free DNA Test Kit

dna test kit

Medicare beneficiaries beware. A new Medicare scam is offering a fake DNA test kit, and it starts with a phone call. Make sure you know what to do in case you are targeted.

DNA test kit

There are many different types of DNA tests, and companies often provide different bundles.. From tests that focus on ancestry to health, DNA tests are made for your specific needs. The prices for a single DNA test can range from $70 to $1,300 depending on the information you want and how detailed you want it to be.

While there are plenty of legitimate companies that perform DNA tests, it’s important to do your research. This doesn’t just apply to DNA testing companies, but it is important to ask what they do with your information and how they will protect it. More than 10,000 U.S. companies sell personal data, which can put your personal information at risk. 

The scam

Several states have released a warning in regards to a new phone scam. The scammer may start by asking if anyone in your immediate family has a history of cancer. These people are offering a no-cost DNA swab test. They will send you a DNA test kit with instructions on what to do. 

Different states have seen different versions of this scam lately. Some happen via phone calls, while states like Kentucky have reported vans driving around, knocking on doors, and offering participants $20 for a DNA sample and their insurance information.

Other states have reported scammers visiting senior-living communities to offer a DNA test and collect some insurance information.

The DNA test that scammers are currently offering seem to be a new twist on the same old scam of trying to trick people into sharing their personal information. 

What to do

This scam has shown up shortly after the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) announced that Medicare will cover some broad evaluations for cancer. In addition, this plays into the current trend of companies that offer genetic testing for ancestry information.

Although this new scam is playing on the announcement by CMS, paying people to participate in medical testing would violate anti-kickback laws. These laws are put in place to stop the abuse of government programs such as Medicare.

If you receive one of these fraudulent phone calls or have someone visiting your home or senior-living center with the same offer, do not give them any personal health information or insurance information. Report them to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) immediately.

In addition to reporting scams to the FTC, CMS urges all Medicare recipients to report any concerns about fraud or suspicious behavior to Medicare’s toll-free number, 1-800-MEDICARE.

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