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Feds take down Medicare scams that preyed on virus fears

The Justice Department will charge more than a dozen people in a series of Medicare scams that exploited coronavirus fears to bill tens of millions of dollars in bogus claims.

Posted: May 26, 2021 11:30 AM

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Justice Department is announcing charges against more than a dozen people from Florida to California in a series of Medicare scams that exploited coronavirus fears to bill tens of millions of dollars in bogus claims.

A common hook involved a variant of identity theft: Fraudsters allegedly offered COVID-19 tests to get the Medicare numbers of unsuspecting patients, and then used that information to bill for lucrative but unneeded genetic tests costing thousands of dollars.

Wednesday's charges look back to the early months of the pandemic, when there was a high demand for COVID tests still in short supply.

Officials said a pervasive scam nowadays involves peddling fake vaccination cards.

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