It seems like scams are everywhere. You hear about the unsolicited calls offering great deals or those claiming to be from the IRS informing us of a severe tax liability that we owe. The unfortunate fact is that unscrupulous persons and organizations are always finding new ways to try and obtain access to our personal information and finances.
According to a recent press release from the Ohio Department of Insurance, there is a new scam to be cautious of and it preys on the one thing that is a major concern to us all – our health!
This new con has groups that target seniors under the guise of conducting genetic testing to determine if they are predisposed to certain diseases. As part of their ruse, they promise that Medicare will cover the cost for this testing in full. They then try to obtain personal information about you and your Medicare account which they can then use to commit identity fraud.
Ohio Department of Insurance Director, Jillian Froment, states “We want Ohioans to be aware and cautious as they consider DNA screening services…Consumers should never share their personal information, including Social Security number or Medicare card number, with anyone who reaches out unexpectedly. If you think you may be a victim of fraud or if you suspect potentially fraudulent activity, please contact us.” The Ohio Department of Insurance’s Fraud and Enforcement Hotline number is 800-686-1527.
Furthermore, the ODOI recommends these tips to protect yourself from this type of scam:
- If you or a loved one is approached by someone claiming to offer genetic testing, do not give your personal information (like your Medicare or Social Security information) to them.
- Theft of Medicare card numbers may be used to commit identity theft or fraud.
- Instead of receiving a DNA screening unsolicited from a firm not affiliated with your health care provider, talk to your doctor first and determine if the test is necessary.
- Some consumers have reported receiving DNA testing kits in the mail without requesting them. Consumers should not use these kits but should instead talk to their doctor first.
Become familiar with this new scam and its warning signs. Most of all, always seek the advice of a professional if you are ever contacted unsolicited for this type of transaction. Diligence is key when trying to safeguard yourself against fraudulent individuals.