CARY, N.C. (WTVD) -- A Cary woman claims COVID tests arrived at her door for her elderly mom, which she says she didn't order or want.
"It's a waste of taxpayer dollars," she said.
The woman asked us not to reveal her identity because of her job and said she would get phone calls for her elderly mom from companies who wanted to send COVID tests. She says the caller would say, "We are going to send you COVID tests for free to you? 'I said, what COVID tests? I don't want anything."
Despite saying no to the COVID tests, she showed ABC11 four tests that still arrived at her home addressed to her elderly mother.
"She doesn't speak English and she doesn't need it to begin with," she added.
The daughter said she has gotten several calls for her mom, and each time she says, she tells the caller no, they don't want these free tests.
"Every time they call me, I said, don't call here no more," she added.
After getting the four COVID tests, she called Medicare. She adds, "Did you guys pay for it? They said, yeah, we paid $96. I say, well, this is a fraudulent claim because I did not order it. I did not request it. I do not know why they sent it to us in the first place."
The only thing mailed with the COVID tests was a piece of paper that claims to be from a company called MG LLC. It states the order was fulfilled after it was requested by the customer under the current public health emergency. Troubleshooter Diane Wilson called the number provided for MG LL and got a recording that no one was available to take the call.
Wilson left a message but no one called back. Their phone number is also listed on a website that claims to offer free COVID tests. Wilson tried to send an email, but it came back as undeliverable.
ABC11 Troubleshooter Diane Wilson investigated a similar type of wasted taxpayer dollars before, but it came to medical braces. We showed you senior citizens who got several medical devices in the mail despite saying no to the call about the free braces. While the viewers weren't charged, Medicare was charged on their behalf and the program paid thousands of dollars for the braces these viewers said they never ordered or needed. After the Troubleshooter investigation, the federal government took action and busted several companies and doctors associated with the medical braces, which the feds say were part of one of the largest healthcare fraud schemes that cost taxpayers nearly $1 billion.
When it comes to the unwanted COVID tests that were sent to the elderly woman that lives in Cary, her daughter said: "This is an abuse of the health care benefits for senior citizens and this is our tax money. This is our taxes, my taxes, and my mom's taxes when she was working."
ABC11 asked Medicare several times about this specific case and whether it paid for the tests the Cary woman said her mom did not order or want.
A Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services provided this statement to Wilson that said in part, "CMS has received calls from some Medicare beneficiaries who reported receiving test kits they did not order or did not intend to automatically refill. While CMS has received complaints during the OTC COVID-19 test demonstration, the number of complaints represent a small portion of people with Medicare that have received these tests. CMS continues to look into the complaints we have received and are investigating instances of potential abuse of this demonstration.
"People with Medicare who receive COVID-19 test kits they did not order should call (800) MEDICARE (800-633-4227) and report it. Consumers with any type of insurance can report suspected fraud by contacting the Health & Human Services (HHS) fraud hotline at: (800) 447-8477 (1-800-HHS-Tips)."
When it comes to calls about free COVID tests, Medicare said it will not call or text offering COVID tests. If you do get a solicitation, don't give any personal or financial information as that could put you at risk. If COVID tests arrive in the mail that you did not order, report the fraud right away to Medicare, or your insurance company. Here are some more tips to protect yourself from COVID scams.
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