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Genetic testing fraud targets Tampa Bay seniors


TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – Genetic testing companies are offering “free” tests to Medicare patients.

They say it will help you avoid diseases or find the right medication.

The catch: they want your Medicare ID number.

Testing company representatives are showing up at senior centers, senior housing developments, health fairs, farmer’s markets and even random shopping mall parking lots.

They come ready to collect a cheek swab for testing – right on the spot.

Florida’s Department of Elder Affairs and the Office of Inspector General call this fraud.

Advocates for seniors say these companies can steal a person’s medical identity and find out private information, then they falsely bill medicare, draining the system of money.

Bottom line: don’t agree to any DNA tests unless they are ordered by your doctor.

State officials say these tests are not only unnecessary but they could also lead to confusion about your health condition.

Once a crook gets your medicare number, they can use it for other fraud schemes.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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