SeniorsPlus is warning seniors to say no if offered a saliva swab to determine health risks. It’s a scam to get personal information, said SeniorsPlus President Betsy Sawyer-Manter.

LEWISTON — Seniors are being warned to refuse offers of a swab of saliva to get their DNA to test for cancer or other health risks.

Betsy Sawyer-Manter, president of SeniorsPlus, said at least two such incidents have occurred in Lewiston-Auburn in recent weeks. People offer to take swabs and say the testing will be paid for by Medicare.

“We’re aware of one group going door to door, another had a booth at a senior fair,” she said. “People think up these scams all the time. They’re asking for personal information.”

Giving out personal information such as Social Security numbers or Medicare numbers is a significant risk, she said.

Random DNA testing will not be paid by Medicare. Genetic tests and cancer screens must be medically necessary and ordered by a doctor to be covered by Medicare, Sawyer-Manter said.

“If someone knocks on your door, say no” and call police, she said.

Anyone who has consented to a swab test should monitor their Medicare Summary Notice for services they didn’t have but were billed for, or call 1-800-MEDICARE or 1-800-HHS-TIPS.




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