• August 15, 2023

Scam Alert: Unexpected Charges for At-Home COVID Tests

Scam Alert: Unexpected Charges for At-Home COVID Tests

Scam Alert: Unexpected Charges for At-Home COVID Tests 1000 587 Consumer & Business


During the COVID-19 emergency, you could order at-home COVID-19 tests at no cost. It was convenient, helpful, and free.

Today with the official COVID-19 emergency now over, you might receive COVID-19 tests you did not order at your home. But, shortly after the tests arrive, you also receive a bill in the mail saying you must pay money to a company for those tests.


This is the latest version of a common Medicare scam during the COVID emergency. Scammers stole Medicare numbers and ordered COVID-19 related services and tests, which would often be covered by Medicare. Scammers profited, but most consumers were not directly affected.

But now, since the official end of health emergency in May 2023, these tests and other COVID-19-related services are no longer covered by Medicare. So instead of Medicare paying, you get stuck with a bill that scammers want you to pay.

If you receive a bill for COVID-19 tests that you didn’t order, do not pay it! Companies cannot legally send you unordered items and demand payment.

If you receive COVID-19 tests that you did not order, follow these steps from the Federal Trade Commission:

  1. Log in to your Medicare account and search your statement for products, services, or equipment you didn’t ask for.
  2. If you see a bill for unordered services, call your health-care provider or Medicare plan and ask for an explanation.
  3. If you suspect Medicare fraud, report it to:

If you need help filing a report, you can call Medicare at 1-800-MEDICARE or contact your local Senior Medicare Patrol.

Calls from companies offering “free supplies,” “no-cost” lab tests, or saying you need a replacement Medicare card are likely scammers. Do not give them any information. Remember, Medicare already has your data and will never ask for your number over the phone.

Free at-home COVID tests are available at select Los Angeles County and Los Angeles City library branches.

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