'Free cancer test' scam hits Spokane

Last month, we warned about a new scam targeting people on Medicare that's related to genetic testing and cancer screening tests. The scam recently hit Spokane.

KHQ in Spokane aired a story about a woman who got a cold call from a scammer saying she was eligible through Medicare for a free cancer screening test. A swab would be mailed to her, she'd use it and then mail it back. Unfortunately, the woman provided her personal information to the scammer.

Please remember the following tips to avoid becoming a victim of Medicare fraud :
  • Do not give out your Medicare number or Social Security number, especially if you are contacted by someone you don't know or have never spoken to before.  If your personal information is compromised, it may be used in other fraud schemes.
  • Do not consent to any lab tests at senior centers, health fairs, or in your home. Be suspicious of anyone claiming that genetic tests and cancer screenings are provided free, at no cost to you.
  • Genetic tests and cancer screenings must be medically necessary and your doctor must order them to be covered by Medicare. Random genetic testing and cancer screenings are not covered by Medicare. If you're interested in the test, talk to your doctor.
  • Monitor your Medicare Summary Notice to see if there are any services you were billed for that you didn’t have or didn’t want. Medicare Summary Notices are sent every three months if you get any services or medical supplies during that three-month period.
SHIBA is Washington state's Senior Medicare Patrol project. If you have a question or suspect fraud or abuse, call us at 1-800-562-6900 and ask to speak with SHIBA.