HONOLULU (KHON2) — This week’s Action Line is warning consumers about scammers who pose as Medicare workers, offering free genetic test kits in order to steal personal information. It can happen through a phone call, email, text message or a post you find on social media.
“The problem here is, you may or may not receive that genetic kit test. They are starting to do what we call Medicare fraud and they start to build Medicare fraud for this testing.” According to Roseann Freitas with the BBB Hawaii, the senior community is the biggest target. “They’re the ones that need to watch out,” said Freitas. “Another is to watch out if they say they will bill your insurance or it’s free. That can target anyone.”
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And of course, there’s alway a catch. Before the scammers can mail your kit, they will need your Medicare ID number and ask for a lot of personal information.
“Medicare ID number is almost like your social security number,”said Freitas. “It’s not quite as big but almost…because they can steal your identity. So you really need to be careful when you share that information.”
The BBB Hawaii says when scammers compromise your Medicare ID number, it can lead them to gather more personal information like the consumer’s home address or Medicare bills for treatment never received. But how can you tell what a real health concern is?
Freitas said it comes down to contacting your primary doctor first if you ever have any questions after a phone call or receiving an email that seems suspicious.