Skip to main content
Free COVID test scam targeting Medicare beneficiaries

Scammers have been targeting Medicare recipients with a fake offer to get “free COVID tests.” They’re calling and running websites, online and television ads to try to convince people to give their Medicare information. But if you give them your information, they’ll bill fraudulent charges to Medicare.

We’re hearing about many Medicare recipients who signed up for these free COVID tests and never got them. And what makes matters worse is that scammers could also bill for other products and services people didn’t need — and didn’t get.

If you or someone you know is covered by Medicare, here’s how to avoid these scams:

  • During the COVID-19 public health emergency Medicare does in fact cover 8 free COVID-19 tests a month, but no one from Medicare will call you with an offer. If someone calls and says they’re from Medicare and offers you a “free COVID test,” hang up right away.
  • Medicare beneficiaries can get their free tests at participating pharmacies. Find a partial list here.
  • Never give your Medicare or other personal information over the phone to anyone who calls out of the blue, asking for it.
  • Fraudulent charges may affect your Medicare coverage. Although the money doesn’t come directly out of your pocket, you may not be able to get medical equipment you need. Check your Medicare Summary Notice to be sure you (and Medicare) are only being charged for services you really got.
  • Find out more about Medicare fraud by visiting or calling 800-MEDICARE (800-633-4227). Also, read the FTC’s article on medical identity theft.

Spot this or a similar Medicare scam? Report at or by calling 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357).

Updated September 2, 2022 to remove references to the federal government’s free COVID-19 test kit program, which was suspended on September 2, 2022.

Search Terms


It is your choice whether to submit a comment. If you do, you must create a user name, or we will not post your comment. The Federal Trade Commission Act authorizes this information collection for purposes of managing online comments. Comments and user names are part of the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) public records system, and user names also are part of the FTC’s computer user records system. We may routinely use these records as described in the FTC’s Privacy Act system notices. For more information on how the FTC handles information that we collect, please read our privacy policy.

The purpose of this blog and its comments section is to inform readers about Federal Trade Commission activity, and share information to help them avoid, report, and recover from fraud, scams, and bad business practices. Your thoughts, ideas, and concerns are welcome, and we encourage comments. But keep in mind, this is a moderated blog. We review all comments before they are posted, and we won’t post comments that don’t comply with our commenting policy. We expect commenters to treat each other and the blog writers with respect.

  • We won’t post off-topic comments, repeated identical comments, or comments that include sales pitches or promotions.
  • We won’t post comments that include vulgar messages, personal attacks by name, or offensive terms that target specific people or groups.
  • We won’t post threats, defamatory statements, or suggestions or encouragement of illegal activity.
  • We won’t post comments that include personal information, like Social Security numbers, account numbers, home addresses, and email addresses. To file a detailed report about a scam, go to

We don't edit comments to remove objectionable content, so please ensure that your comment contains none of the above. The comments posted on this blog become part of the public domain. To protect your privacy and the privacy of other people, please do not include personal information. Opinions in comments that appear in this blog belong to the individuals who expressed them. They do not belong to or represent views of the Federal Trade Commission.

Gwen M Beck
August 23, 2022

A friend told me Medicare would provide someone to trim my toe nails. I can't afford a pedicure and have a very difficult time trying to trim the nails by myself.

August 24, 2022

Perfect timing. Was having difficulty setting up appt. for testing. Seemed too much info being asked so worked with a real person to get test
Also, today received 2 emails, one directed to Sofii and another in a foreign language. Deleted both without opening.
Thank you for watching out for my generation and generations coming behind we older ones.

Darlene Schafer
September 02, 2022

Thank you for this timely info to help protect older people from scams. I saw some TV commercials for tests and was questioning them as they were not government sponsored ones.