The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General is warning the public about a fraud scheme involving genetic testing.

Scammers are offering Medicare beneficiaries cheek swabs for genetic testing to obtain their Medicare information for identity theft or fraudulent billing purposes. Fraudsters are targeting beneficiaries through telemarketing calls, booths at public events, health fairs, and door-to-door visits.

If a beneficiary agrees to genetic testing or verifies personal or Medicare information, a testing kit is sent to the individual’s home even if it is not ordered by a physician or medically necessary.

Protect yourself by following these tips:

  • If a genetic testing kit is mailed to you, do not accept it unless it was ordered by your physician. Refuse the delivery or return it to the sender. Keep a record of the sender’s name, address, and the date you returned the items.
  • Be suspicious of anyone who offers you free genetic testing and then requests your Medicare number. If your personal information is compromised , it may be used in other fraud schemes.
  • A physician that you know and trust should approve any requests for genetic testing.
  • Medicare beneficiaries should be cautious of unsolicited requests for their Medicare numbers. If anyone other than your physician’s office requests your Medicare information, do not provide it.
  • If you suspect Medicare fraud, contact the Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General Hotline.

If you are interested in learning more about protecting yourself and Medicare card fraud prevention, speak with a Sourcewise Health Insurance Counseling representative: (408) 350-3200, option 2.