A Medicare scam involving DNA kits strikes Memphis

A Medicare scam involving DNA kits strikes Memphis

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - A Medicare scam dealing with DNA kits has hit several states, and now it’s being reported right here in Memphis.

“It's scary how people are trying to scam you out of stuff like this,” Memphis resident Kathy Johnson said.

Johnson got a knock at her South Memphis home last week. She opened the door and talked with the person, but she came with her wits.

“He said ‘all I need is a swab of your mouth,’” Johnson said. “I said ‘a swab of my mouth?!’ He was like yeah. He pulled it out. I was like uh no.” What happened to Johnson is very similar to what has been happening to other Americans, often times the elderly.

The Federal Trade Commission and AARP have put out warnings about the latest attempt by scammers to get a hold of your personal information. The reports say someone will ask if you would like a DNA test kit. They advertise it as a free way to get early diagnosis for different diseases like cancer. In return you would need to give them personal information like social security numbers, Medicare numbers and banking information.

“I said if I want to do this, then I'll just go to my doctor,” Johnson said. “He said well your doctor will just send you to us. I said okay well I'll see you then.”

Here's what Kevin Walters with the Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance said this spring about the scam.

“Scammers are always looking to take popular things people are interested in, and twist them around to get what they want,” Walters said back in May. The FCC says Medicare does not market DNA testing kits to the general public.

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