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Be Cautious of DNA Test Scams Targeting Seniors

This year has seen a rise in DNA and genetic testing scams, with senior citizens as the primary victims.

Reports from the Better Business Bureau’s scam tracker revealed a wave of DNA and genetic testing scams originating from Florida earlier this year. These scams have now spread nationwide in the US. Scammers often target Medicare beneficiaries, offering them free cheek swabs for DNA or genetic testing. They employ tactics like telemarketing calls, setting up booths at public events, visiting homes, and attending health fairs. During these encounters, scammers deceive victims by promising no-cost tests while trying to gather Medicare information, which they later exploit for identity theft or fraudulent billing.

Detecting DNA and genetic testing scams can be challenging since scammers make extensive efforts to appear legitimate. They go as far as appearing at public events and health fairs, sending DNA testing kits through mail to the victim’s home, and even offering gift cards or other incentives as a token of appreciation. Their ultimate goal, however, is to acquire Medicare numbers, billing details, or any information that can aid in identity theft.

To protect yourself from falling prey to these scams, adhere to the following guidelines:

  • Avoid sharing personal information with unsolicited individuals
  • Exercise caution when someone requests your Medicare number
  • Refrain from giving consent for lab tests at senior centers, health fairs, or your home
  • Regularly review your Medicare statements for any unfamiliar charges
  • Thoroughly research any company offering DNA testing services
  • Confirm their credentials and legitimacy

If you require DNA testing, consult your physician. Medicare covers DNA and genetic testing prescribed by your primary healthcare provider and deemed necessary.

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