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Scammers pose as Medicare, offering 'free' DNA kits to seniors

MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Va. – The Montgomery County Sheriff's Office is warning seniors to watch out for a potential government imposter scam.

The Federal Trade Commission has received reports of callers claiming to be from Medicare asking people for their Social Security numbers, Medicare numbers and other personal information in exchange for "free" DNA testing kits. 

Companies are targeting people at senior centers, housing complexes and other community locations to promote "free" genetic testing, cancer screenings or DNA testing.

In this scam, the targeted seniors are told that these tests will be covered by Medicare.

The lab then bills Medicare for the services, which have not been deemed medically necessary and do not have a referral from a primary doctor.

In some schemes, people are sent a DNA test kit at home and are told to swab their cheek and return the kit in the mail.

The FTC is reminding consumers that Medicare does not market DNA testing kits to the general public.

Also, as a general rule, they say government agencies will rarely call. If they do, it's typically after they send you a letter.