The Better Business Bureau has issued a scam alert for senior citizens regarding “no cost” genetic DNA screenings.
Scammers have been targeting the elderly community by offering to provide these genetic DNA screenings for free, telling victims that the tests can detect cancer and other diseases. They then ask targeted individuals to provide their Medicare and Medicaid information so the company can file an insurance claim. “By giving strangers your insurance information, you’re opening yourself up to possibly having your identity stolen,” said Michelle L. Corey, BBB St. Louis President and CEO. “We encourage consumers to be as protective of their insurance information as they are with their Social Security number and other sensitive personal information.”
Nebraska and South Carolina have both reported that these scammers are trying to work their way into senior centers to collect personal information. The BBB in Southwest Missouri is warning citizens that while this hasn’t been reported yet in Springfield, there are reports of this similar scam in St. Louis and Cape Girardeau.
The Better Business Bureau has these tips to help you avoid health care scams:
- Never share personally identifiable information with someone who has contacted you unsolicited, whether it’s over the phone, by email, or on social media. This includes banking and credit card information, your birthdate, Social Security or Social Insurance number, and your health insurance number.
- Just because someone is dressed like a healthcare professional, it doesn’t mean they are qualified to practice medicine. Make sure to verify their credentials before you allow them to assist you.
- Don’t only trust a name or phone number. Con artists often use official-sounding names or mask their area codes to make you trust them. Don’t fall for it, do more research.
- Research any business and its owners carefully. Check the company’s BBB Business Profile at bbb.org or by calling 888-996-3887.
To learn more about the BBB’s warning regarding “no cost” genetic DNA screenings, click here.