Sep 6, 2019

More Phone Scams

Scammers are offering “free” genetic tests and claiming Medicare will cover it, so they can get your Medicare Number and use it to commit fraud and identity theft. They are targeting people through telemarketing calls, health fairs, and even knocking on doors.
Only a doctor you know and trust should order and approve any requests for genetic testing. If Medicare is billed for a test or screening that was not medically necessary and/or was not ordered by your doctor, the claim could be denied. That means you could be responsible for the entire cost of the test, which could be thousands of dollars.
To protect yourself, do not share your Medicare Number, Social Security Number, or other personal information with anyone who offers to give you a "free" in-person genetic screening or cheek swab, or a DNA testing kit in the mail. If you get a genetic testing kit in the mail, refuse the delivery or discard unless your doctor ordered it.
 - A scammer will call someone and inform them that due to "suspicious activity," their SSN has been "suspended," and in order to reactivate it, they need to either pay a small fee or "confirm" their SSN by reading it over the phone. During 2017, the Social Security Administration reported that 3,200 people had fallen victim to this scam, for a total cost of $210,000. In 2018, that figure rocketed to 35,000 victims and a total cost of $10 million. During 2019, from February and March alone, over 36,000 people were successfully scammed out of $6.7 million.

  - First a scammer will call your phone, being sure to only ring once, and then hang up. They do this again and again, in the hope that you are so flustered by the volume of missed calls that you do not notice you're about to call a premium-rate toll number based in some far-off country. You then get hit with a variety of charges, none of which you will find out about until your next phone bill, while the scammers walk away with a cut of the proceeds. Caveat Emptor.

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