Genetic Testing Scam Preys on Seniors
The trouble began for Ken and Judy Johnson – a pair of retirees from Austin, Texas – at a Fort Lauderdale arts festival.
“There was a couple of people in there saying ‘come get your DNA tested,'” Judy recalled. The company, Genexe Health, billed itself as a genetic testing “one-stop shop.” With a quick cheek swab, the Johnson’s could learn if they carried any genes that made a cancer diagnosis more likely.
“I’ve had cancer. I had cancer six years ago. They indicated that they could give us some results that if it’s genetic, that it could be passed on to my children. We’ve got four daughters,” Judy said.
They were also told the tests wouldn’t cost them anything – Medicare would foot the bill – and that they would get the results in four to six weeks. That was almost a year ago. Since then, they’ve received nothing, but their Medicare accounts were charged for a slew of genetic tests amounting to thousands of dollars. Judy’s account was billed more than $10,000 and Ken’s more than $8,300.