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Watch out for scammers offering free covid tests to people on Medicare

Covid Tests Pink Background 6a00e5500815768834027880658325200d-320wiScammers are targeting Medicare recipients with fake offers to get “free covid tests.” They’re calling, using TV and online ads, and setting up websites to try to get people to give them their Medicare information.

If scammers get the information, they’ll bill fraudulent charges to Medicare. And, the consumers never get any free covid tests.

In addition, the fraudsters could also bill victims for other products and services they don’t need – and don’t get.

If you or someone you know is covered by Medicare, the Federal Trade Commission offers these tips on how to avoid these scams:

  • Medicare does cover 8 free covid-19 tests a month during the covid-19 public health emergency, but no one from Medicare will call you with an offer. If someone calls and says they’re from Medicare and offers you a “free covid test,” hang up immediately.
  • The federal government also offers free covid-19 tests to every residential household. No insurance information or your name is required. To order free test kits from the government, go to special.usps.com/testkits or call 800-232-0233. They’ll be delivered to your home for free. Each order includes eight tests. Every U.S. household is entitled to two orders.
  • Medicare beneficiaries can get their free tests at participating pharmacies. Find a partial list here.
  • Never give your Medicare or other personal information over the phone to anyone who calls asking for it.
  • Fraudulent charges may affect your Medicare coverage. Although the money doesn’t come directly from you, you may not be able to get medical equipment you need. Check your Medicare Summary Notice to be sure you – and Medicare – are only being charged for services you actually received.
  • Find out more about Medicare fraud by visiting CMS.gov or calling 800-633-4227. Also, see the FTC’s article on medical identity theft.

Report this Medicare covid test scam or other scams at ReportFraud.ftc.gov or by calling 877-382-4357.

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