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Genetic Testing Scam

DNA Strand

Across the nation, genetic testing company representatives are scamming Medicare Beneficiaries by offering "free" genetic tests in return for their Medicare number. 

How Common DNA Scams Work

Genetic tests can also be referred to as DNA screenings, cancer screenings, and hereditary testing.  The representatives go to senior centers, senior housing, health fairs, and even parking lots to convince people to let them take a cheek swab for testing. They advertise on TV and online. They promise that the results will help recipients avoid diseases or find the right medications. All they ask for in return is the person's Medicare number.

Help Stop Genetic Testing Fraud

  • Refuse to give out your personal information or accept screening services, including a cheek swab, from someone at a community event, a local fair, a farmer's market, parking lot, and/or any other large event.
  • Go to  your own doctor to assess your condition, not a doctor on the phone you've never met from a company you don't know.
  • Always read your Medicare Summary Notice (MSN) or Explanation of Benefits (EOB).  The works "gene analysis" or "molecular pathology" as service codes may indicate a questionable genetic testing.
  • Refuse the delivery of any genetic testing kit that was not ordered by your physician.
  • Be suspicious of anyone who offers free genetic testing and then requests your Medicare number.  If your personal information is compromised, it may be used in other fraud schemes.

Contact the Iowa SMP if you have been approached or contacted by anyone you suspect to be a scammer at
1-800-351-4664 (TTY 1-800-735-2942).