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**Consumer Alert** CFO Jimmy Patronis: Beware of Medicare Scam Claiming to Offer Free DNA Tests

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Jimmy Patronis is warning Floridians of a recent report from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) of a new imposter scam where callers claiming to be from Medicare are asking people for their Medicare numbers, Social Security numbers, and other personal information in exchange for free DNA testing kits.

CFO Jimmy Patronis said, “There is no limit to the lengths scam artists will go to try and steal your hard-earned money. Unfortunately, imposter scams are prevalent, and in 2018 alone consumers reported losing nearly $488 million nationwide. These scammers prey on your trust and call claiming to be someone you know, or even a government agency, to convince you to send them money or give away your personal information.

“Always verify if the person calling you is who they say they are. Never share your personal information over the phone and stay up-to-date on the latest scam and fraud tactics.”

3 Tips to Avoid Imposter Scams:

1. Government agencies will rarely, if ever, call you. If they do, it will be after they send you a letter – or to return a call you made to them. But anytime the “government” caller demands information (or payment by wire transfer or gift card), that’s a scam.

2. Don’t trust caller ID. Scammers use technology to hide their real number, but show one that seems legit. If the caller ID shows a 202 area code, or says “government” or “Washington, DC,” don’t take that at face value. It could be anyone calling from anywhere.

3. Never give out personal information over the phone. Never give private data to anyone who cold calls you for information like your Medicare, bank account, credit card or Social Security numbers. Scammers can use your information, steal your identity, obtain credit in your name and take your money.
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