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Health Briefs

Turn aside offers of 'free' diabetic supplies!

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) recently issued a warning about an ongoing fraud targeting people with diabetes.

According to an HHS news release, the scam works like this: You get an unsolicited phone call from someone who claims to work for Medicare, a government agency, or a diabetes association. The caller offers to send you "free" diabetic supplies—but first they need your Medicare ID number and other sensitive personal and/or financial information.

"The call is a scam," HHS says.

Once the caller has obtained your personal information, the supplies may be fraudulently billed to Medicare or you may receive items you did not order. You also could be a target for future scams.

If you receive such a call, simply hang up. HHS also recommends you check your next Medicare Summary Notice to make sure you were not charged for supplies you did not order or receive. If you receive items you did not order, refuse delivery or mark them "Return to Sender."

To report suspicious calls, unsolicited deliveries, or other possibly fraudulent activity, contact the Office of Inspector General (OIG) hotline at 1-800-HHS-TIPS or visit the HHS website .