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Nevada attorney general: beware of door-to-door DNA swabbing scam

Nevada Attorney General Aaron Ford recently warned Nevadans to be wary of a door-to-door medical billing scam targeting Nevadans at their homes.

The Office of the Nevada Attorney General has received reports of individuals visiting residents at their homes and offering DNA tests to help the resident find out whether he or she is at risk for cancer or other diseases.

Additionally, the scammer may request the person’s insurance card, driver’s license or other personal information.

It appears that the purpose of the visit is to steal the resident’s insurance and personal information, potentially in order to receive reimbursement for services or devices that are not medically necessary. In particular, the scammers may be targeting Medicaid and Medicare recipients. The person may even claim to be affiliated with a local Medicaid insurer.

“Nevadans who have questions about a medical service should rely on the advice of their primary care professional,” Ford said in a news release. “Take care to protect your valuable health insurance information from people who plan to use it for unscrupulous reasons.”

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) have set forth guidelines as to when Medicare will allow and pay for genetic evaluation of cancer by FDA-approved tests. Consult the CMS website for the requirements.

As with all suspicious door-to-door solicitors, avoid sharing your personal information, including copies of insurance cards and identification documents.

The Office of the Nevada Attorney General offers the following tips to avoid falling victim to door-to-door scams:

  • ​Be wary of high-pressure sales tactics, or someone telling you that you will miss out if you don’t sign up immediately.
  • ​Always do your research. Ask your primary care physician if a DNA test is right for you. If someone is selling a good or service, ask for certification and references to find out how the equipment or service worked for others.
  • ​​Be suspicious if an individual is using scare tactics to encourage you to sign up.

Nevadans who may have provided their Medicaid or health insurance information to a suspicious person or company should file a complaint with the Office of the Nevada Attorney General on the web at ag.nv.gov/Complaints/File_Complaint

Nevadans who have shared their Medicare information should file a complaint with the Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Inspector General on the web at oig.hhs.gov/fraud/report-fraud

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