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Posted on August 27, 2019

A Consumer Warning from Luxor Nursing and Rehabilitation at Mills Pond: Senior DNA Scam Gaining Popularity

Unfortunately, people have been taking advantage of the generally trusting nature and naivete of the elderly for decades, especially as various forms of new technology emerge that most seniors are unfamiliar with.

Now, a new scam is emerging that foregoes technology for face-to-face interaction. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is calling it the Medicare DNA scam.

NBC News profiled an 86-year-old woman in Utah who explained what happened to her.

She said a young couple knocked on her door, claiming to be from Medicare, and asked for a DNA swab.

The FTC says that the reasons being given for the DNA swab are to run tests that detect the risk of cancer or medication side effects in the patients.

These tests do exist, and the scammers bill Medicare for the tests. They then receive an average of $6,000 to $9,000 per test.

However, what makes this more sinister is that, in the case of the woman from Utah, the scammers asked to see her Medicare card and acquired her Social Security number. 

The Office of the Inspector General issued a fraud alert on this particular scam in June, as the office has reported up to 50 complaint calls a week regarding this particular issue.

How do You Protect Yourself?

The FTC says that no one representing Medicare will show up to your door and persuade you to get your cheek swabbed for a DNA test. Any lab tests or diagnostics should first come through your primary care physician, or if you have any questions, you can call Medicare directly.