On August 23, 2022, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) issued an alert that scammers offering free COVID-19 tests have been targeting Medicare recipients online, by phone, and through television advertisements. The goal of these scammers is to obtain your Medicare information and then fraudulently bill Medicare.
The FTC warns that people who sign up for these “free” tests never receive them. Once they have a person’s Medicare information, scammers also try to bill Medicare for other products and services that person doesn’t need and didn’t receive.
You can take steps to avoid being taken advantage of by scammers. First, be aware that Medicare presently covers eight free COVID tests per month. Medicare recipients simply need to visit a participating pharmacy. Medicare does not call people directly to offer them free tests. So, be wary of any offers or advertisements and do not give anyone your personal information.
The bottom line is that you should never give your Medicare or other personal information to anyone who contacts you offering any free service. Fraudulent charges to your Medicare insurance can affect your benefits and coverage, and prevent you from getting the medical services you need. You can double-check your Medicare Summary Notice to see whether you are being charged for any services or products you did not receive or authorize.
If you believe you have information related to a Medicare scam, you can report it online or by calling 1-877-FTC-HELP.