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DNA testing scams on the rise in low-income, senior-living communities

A walker and an electric wheelchair in a nursing home
An electric wheelchair and walker. Photo: Robert Nickelsberg/Getty Images

State authorities are warning of an alleged scam involving DNA tests that's targeted to low-income and senior-living communities, Bloomberg reports.

How it works: The alleged scammers visit these communities and offer to perform DNA tests. They then collect information from people in government health programs, like Medicare and Medicaid, that can be used to bill the government for unneeded medical care or to commit identify theft.

  • For example, in Kentucky, there have been reports of people showing up in a van and offering to pay Medicaid recipients $20 to take a DNA swab and to get their insurance information.

The backdrop: The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services announced last year that Medicare would cover genetic testing for cancer.

Go deeper: Genetic testing firms share your DNA data more than you think