WASHINGTON, D.C. - Getting things for free sounds like a good deal, but for people dealing with a serious disease, a free offer could actually hurt.
It's a health issue that can come with some hefty bills. Diabetics need a constant stream of supplies, from meters to test strips, so if someone offered them for free it would lift a heavy financial burden. But the feds say recent calls offering free diabetic supplies could end up costing you in the long run.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is warning people about a scam where callers claim they'll give you the supplies you need in exchange for your personal, financial or Medicare information.
They DHHS says the scammers might just send along the supplies too, even if you didn't order them just so they can illegally bill your account. The feds say you should be suspicious of anyone who calls offering free items then asks for your information.
You should also check your Medicare summaries and other medical accounts to make sure you weren't billed for something you didn't order or didn't get. And never accept items you didn't ask for.
If you receive diabetic supplies you didn't order, you should refuse the shipment after you take note of which company sent them. You should contact the Office of Inspector General at 1-800-HHS-TIPS to report what happened, whether you receive a shipment or a phone call.
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