TOWSON, MD—Local officials say scammers have been targeting Medicare recipients with a fake offer to get “free COVID tests.” The scammers are reportedly calling and running websites, as well as online and television ads to try to convince people to give out their Medicare information.
Those who give out their information are seeing fraudulent charges being billed to Medicare.
The Baltimore County Department of Aging reports that many Medicare recipients who signed up for the “free COVID tests” never got them.
Officials are offering some tips on how to avoid these scams.
During the COVID-19 public health emergency, Medicare does in fact cover 8 free COVID-19 tests per month, but no one from Medicare will call residents with an offer.
If someone calls and says they’re from Medicare and offers a “free COVID test,” hang up right away.
The federal government is also offering free COVID-19 tests to every residential household. No insurance information or name is required. To order free test kits from the government, go to https://special.usps.com/testkits or call 1-800-232-0233 (TTY 1-888-720-7489). The test kits will be delivered to residences for free. Each order includes 8 tests. Every U.S. household is entitled to place two orders for a total of 16 tests.
Fraudulent charges may affect your Medicare coverage. Although the money doesn’t come directly out of your pocket, 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 really got.
Find out more about Medicare fraud by visiting https://www.CMS.gov or by calling 800-MEDICARE (800-633-4227). Report scams at https://ReportFraud.ftc.gov or by calling 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357).
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