Consumer Warning: Genetic Screening Scam

The California Department of Insurance is alerting the public about a fraud scheme involving genetic testing or screening.

Genetic testing fraud occurs when Medicare or other health insurance is billed for a test or screening, typically a cheek swab, that was not medically necessary and/or was not ordered by a treating physician. If the claim is denied, the beneficiary may be responsible for the cost of the test, which could be thousands of dollars.

Fraudsters offer these so-called “free” screenings in order to obtain personal information for use in identity theft or for fraudulent billing purposes. These screenings may be offered through telemarketing calls, booths at public events, health fairs, or door-to-door visits. Never give out personal information such as your Social Security number, bank account information, credit card numbers, or Medicare or other health insurance information to individuals offering these screenings.

If you are a Medicare beneficiary who has been offered or completed a so-called “free” genetic screening, contact the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of the Inspector General’s hotline to file a complaint at

If this type of fraud has been perpetrated by a licensed insurance agent or you have been offered or completed a “free” genetic screening in relation to your health insurance coverage, contact the Department of Insurance at 1-800-927-4357 or visit the Department’s website at

Additional information about genetic testing fraud is available from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General at

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