The Better Business Bureau is getting reports that callers claiming to be from Medicare are asking people for their Medicare numbers, Social Security numbers, and other personal information in exchange for DNA testing kits.
How does this scam work?
The callers might say the test is a free way to get early diagnoses for diseases like cancer, or just that it’s a free test, so why not take it? But the truth is, Medicare does not market DNA testing kits to the general public. Before you give anyone your personal information or a swab from your cheek, here’s what you should know:
· Medicare won’t call you out of the blue: Medicare is a government agency and government agencies will rarely, if ever, call you. If they do, it will be after they send you a letter – or to return a call you made to them. But anytime the “government” caller demands information (or payment by wire transfer or gift card), that’s a scam.
· Scammers can spoof any phone number: Scammers use technology to hide their real number, but show one that seems real. So, if the caller ID shows a 202-area code, or says “government” or “Washington, DC,” don’t take that at face value. It could be anyone calling from anywhere.
· You might be targeted for Medical ID theft: Scammers can use your information, steal your identity, get credit in your name and take your money. Giving them your social security number or your medical insurance ID number can expose you to Medical ID theft. Fraudsters can use this information to obtain insurance benefits, prescription drugs, employment and even government benefits.
If you believe you’ve been victimized by a scam, visit bbb.org/ScamTracker and report your experience or call our office at 812 473 0202! Stay safe and informed!