Robocalls have been going across the United States from Becky from Medicare (sometimes the prerecorded message will say something along the lines of, “This is Becky, working closely with Medicare”). The message will encourage the person to press 1 to talk to a representative to learn about “free genetic testing.” The call shows up as if it’s coming from West Palm Beach, FL. Reports are saying if you interact with “Becky” (or one of her “friendly colleagues”), they will claim that you are eligible for genetic testing to screen for diseases that Medicare will pay for. They will also ask for your Medicare number and mailing address to send a “test kit with instructions.” This is a scam.
Medicare will never call you personally to offer genetic screening or any other test, treatment, or device—you would need a prescription or doctor’s order for all of these. The scammer’s goal (or “Becky’s” goal) is the Medicare number.
• The best defense is not to answer calls from numbers you don’t recognize.
• Only share your Medicare number with trusted health care providers.
• Review your Medicare summary notices. Make sure the dates and services listed are correct. If something doesn’t look right, call your medical provider’s office. Fraudulent charges can also result in Medicare denying what you will actually need later on.
If a you believe that you or someone you know has been scammed, please contact your local police or sheriff’s department, the Binghamton Regional Attorney General’s Office at 251-2770 (they serve Tioga County), and/or New York State Consumer Assistance Hotline at 1-800-697-1220.
Do you have questions about Medicare, Medicare Advantage programs (managed care), Medicare prescription drug coverage, Medigap, and other health and long-term care insurance? Our trained HIICAP counselors can provide education that allows you to make informed choices about your healthcare options. Call us today at 607-687-4120 to schedule your appointment!