INDIANAPOLIS— The Federal Trade Commission has a warning out Friday about a creative scam targeting Medicare participants.
In this scam, the caller claims to be from Medicare and asks you for your Medicare number, Social Security number, or other personal information in exchange for a DNA testing kit.
“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?” said Lisa Lake, a Consumer Education Specialist with the FTC. “But the truth is, Medicare does not market DNA testing kits to the general public.”
The FTC says this is yet another example of government imposter scam, in which the scammers pose as a government agency.
The Federal Trade Commission is asking consumer to keep in mind:
- 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.
- Don’t trust caller ID. Scammers use technology to hide their real number, but show one that seems legit. 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.
- Never give anyone who calls or approaches you out of the blue information like your Medicare, bank account, credit card or Social Security number. Scammers can use your information, steal your identity, get credit in your name and take your money.
You can report government imposters and other scams to the FTC.