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Better Business Bureau warning senior citizens of DNA test scam

Posted at 10:10 PM, Oct 02, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-03 01:05:41-04

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FOUNTAIN, Colo. -- Senior citizens are being exploited over their medical fears. That’s what the Better Business Bureau is claiming, and it’s your tax dollars that are footing the bill.

When Sandy Baldwin had her cheeks swabbed at a senior expo last year, she says she never would have guessed it would cost so much.

"I'm thinking in my mind as a couple hundred dollars, no biggie, but not $26,000," Baldwin said.

Days before her brother died of cancer, Baldwin was approached by a Genexe Health employee at the expo.

"Because I was where I was at that stage of my life with my brother dying of cancer I was an easy take," she explained to Contact7

Baldwin decided to get a DNA test to find out her family's history with cancer. She was told the results would be in within eight weeks. Nearly six months later, the results never came in. Instead, she got a bill for more than $26,000.

"I freaked out. I thought if I would have known they we're going to bill my insurance company that amount of money, I've never had the test done," she said.

Medicare only paid $9,000. No one's ever asked Baldwin to pay the difference.

Genexe Health tells Denver7 in part, "Genexe is a marketing services company that no longer furnishes services to clinical laboratories. While we still operated in that industry, we did so with the highest standards of compliance and within the parameters that our clients set for us."

The Better Business Bureau says Baldwin is not alone and a senior expo is a prime place to fall victim.

"The sense of urgency and the ability to do it right there on the spot is tempting, but it also makes you not do that extra bit of research," said BBB spokeswoman Krista Ferndelli.