Scams Everywhere

My stepmother sends along this photo from I-94 service drive and Brush st in midtown Detroit.

No, this isn’t another “destruction porn” article on Detroit. I’d like to draw your attention to the sign. CASH FOR DIABETIC TEST STRIPS.

What. The. Heck?

I’ve heard the stories from many folks regarding the costs related to diabetes, and I know one of these expenses that add up quickly are those little test strips. It can cost hundreds of dollars a month. Unless, of course, you have good insurance, or are on medicare/medicaid. Then, that month’s supply is a $10 co-pay, or free. Mad money.

So, here’s the deal.

A box of those test strips retail for as much as $125 per box. These “Cash for test strips” folks offer $20 for these boxes, sells them to a wholesaler for $40, who then sells them online for around $80.

And the market is fueled by poverty, crime and opportunity.

Commercials: “! I pay cash for your unwanted, unexpired and sealed diabetic test strip boxes.”

“Test strip rescues quick cash calculator. Using the quick cash calculator, we’ll help you calculate how much money you can receive when you package and ship your surplus supplies to our warehouse.”

“Would you like to make some money selling your unused diabetes test strips? Here at CGS, LLC, we make it easy for you to sell your extra, unexpired sealed boxes of diabetes test strips for cash.”

So, why do these folks have unused test strips? Just lying around? Ready to sell?

The FDA says it’s legal to buy and sell test strips because you don’t need a prescription to get them. But if a doctor writes you one, it’s usually covered by insurance or Medicare.

Bourdeau: “Unfortunately, some people will request them just to sell. I might as well get that out in the open. They call their doctor and say, I need some more in order to get money to buy food and whatever.”

Medicare paid out more than $1 BILLION dollars for test strips in 2009.

Mail–order pharmacies specifically target senior citizens on Medicare. But these companies, advertised as convenient service for diabetics, are often the subject of complaints. One of the most frequent from customers is that they send way too many test strip refills. The result is a steady product stream for people like John Bourdeau.

Bourdeau: “Most of these people are on a set program with their insurance companies to receive a set amount of boxes every month whether they use them or not.”

Surprisingly, it’s not easy to determine the price of these things online at any of the big diabetic suppliers. The prices are mysteriously missing. At Wright and Phillips – you cannot even view the products unless you register as a customer. Prices are available at other sites (, for example) , but I’m more interested in the insurance reimbursement rates.

“” makes you enter whether you are a medicare/medicaid recipient or traditional health care insurance customer, at which point it sends you to different locations to view products, and I imagine an entirely different price structure.

The Daily Beast had this article about it last year:

Jerry Koblin, who runs a family pharmacy in Nyack, N.Y., says many of his customers complain that their auto-fill programs send far too many boxes of test strips. Online resellers are aware that the strips expire, of course, and constantly run newspaper and Internet ads screaming, “WE BUY TEST STRIPS! $20-$30 FAST CASH!” For diabetics with an oversupply of strips, it is a tempting offer, even though it is against the law to resell supplies subsidized by Medicare or Medicaid.

Koblin says lower-income diabetics also sometimes make the difficult decision to pay for groceries instead of medical supplies. “Some patients who are supposed to test themselves three times a day may only test once, or skip a day here and there,” Koblin explained. “The leftover strips add up quickly.”

More here:

A lucrative market exists because those with test strips to sell got them at no charge or for a small co-pay through Medicaid, Medicare or private insurance and fraudulently continue to reorder in large quantities and people without insurance can buy them from black market resellers on eBay and Craigslist at a deep discount. It seems like a win-win situation, except for taxpayers, who are on the hook for those entitlement programs and employees and companies who have seen insurance costs rise due to spiraling medical costs.

And there are folks who are making a career of this. Eric Asai created “Affordable Diabetic Test Strips Inc.”

He typically moves about 600 boxes of test strips a month. He pays $25 a box for premium brands. He sells the most popular, 100-count One Touch Ultra Blue, on eBay for $72 to $75 a box. One Touch almost always sells the same day he lists it. He sells to diabetics who live around the country.The people he buys from are phantoms. He drives from the Catskills to the Adirondacks to make buys. It’s a first-name, cash, grab-and-go operation. About 300 of his customers are regulars who sell him boxes of test strips every month. He’s got regulars who live in what he describes as mansions in Loudonville and Guilderland.

There are a LOT of these things for sale on Ebay.

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14 Comments on “Scams Everywhere”

  1. krow8803 Says:

    jebus, im type II and i have to fight to get ANY supplies and this shit goes on???

    im about ready to just say let this damaged repubic burn to the ground

  2. Car in Says:

    This issue started, with me, in regards to the expense of the necessary medical needs of diabetics. I wondered WHY these things are so expensive (and I figured it’s mostly $$ driven.) If Obama really WANTED to help – why didn’t he figure out a way to provide stuff to diabetics cheaper? i figured there was some collusion occurring between the government and the medical community. He did NOTHING for that.

    I was unaware of this aspect, but a conversation with my stepmother lead to her seeing/noticing this sign.

  3. KHardy Says:

    I am so sick of people always blaming that man for everything. “The sky is falling what is Obama going do”. I am not a racist nor do I favor him because of his race but I do have a theory that others do. That man has did more in his little time there than almost of all the others have done together( withe expectations of some extraordinary men before him) with a whole army of people against him. Stop nick picking at little stuff and lets work together. Because if one goes down believe it or not we are all going down regardless of race or gender. Only a few of the rich will survive. We will never be successful pointing fingers.

  4. Marcus Says:

    Why is this considered a scam?

  5. Larry Eich Says:

    I sent several boxes of Contour strips to the
    Cash for strips Co. Run by GYM VENTURES, LLC 1730 S.FEDERAL HWY #343
    And they sent me a check gor only $18
    Considering half were good for a year and a few for 6-8 months they claimed they weren’t in good condition or only had six or so months shelf life which is B.S.! I Should have known better, FLORIDA IS FULL OF Con artist Thieves and Old Farts ! I know I lived there 10 years!

  6. Dee Keener Says:

    the above company is also as cash for diabetics same address..if you check their site they have posted what they pay for what strips.
    I sent them 2 boxes of Aviva Strips.. Contour strips don’t sell for very much…they sent my payment as advertised on their site..

  7. Walisiak Says:

     I’m always looking to get more profit from the website.

  8. John Bourdeau Says:

    I am quoted as saying we buy boxes from medicare and medicaid. We dont buy boxes that have anything to do with medicaid as the federal government will not allow that. We DO buy retail boxes that the medicare has paid for that are NOT marked with the medicaid stickers

  9. Keenan Says:

    its not a scam you fucking losers and crybabies. people get paid for them and resell them on a huge scale. its a more honest living then most people could dream of doing/making.

  10. Ralph Rastopsoff Says:

    They sent a list of “Testing Strips”, that qualified and we double checked with the list, we should have received more than what they
    sent ($48.00) the value was higher according to their lust, more like
    $180.00. , they lied, we will nottru St them anymore, we even had more to send. Not now, “SCAMMERS FOR SURE”. Posted on 10/28/2016 Don’t believe them. Rip offs 😠😡😠🐷😡

  11. Not Happy Says:

    Get in touch! 757.266.5914 |
    Fast Cash For Strips
    SHIPPING PAYMENT CALL US: 757.266.5914

    Attention: For your protection and ours, if you do not use Paypal, payment will be made once the product has been received and verified. Please call if you have any questions. Thanks for stopping by! FREE SHIPPING ON ALL TRANSACTIONS. Shipping cost are reimbursed after tracking is provided.

    This outfit now says that I will be paid for the strips when they sell the strips…..that is no where written on their website. If you are in the business of buying strips, and then selling them, that is not the test strip seller’s (my) problem, if you can’t sell them. If you can’t sell them then don’t buy them or at the least divulge your tactics or business policy up front. I have been dealing with them for more than a year, this had never happened before. Not Happy.

  12. Its an honest living and you’ll make more than any job. Try as you might to conjure up the poor diabetic being scammed, the reality is these boxes get tossed in the trash everyday by people who have no idea they are worth money. Some diabetics have too much strips while others dont have enough … thats the area we market in. No one is being taken advantage of and everyone is being helped.

  13. We pickup test strips locally in Atlanta. You get paid the same day, no waiting.

  14. Pretty! This has been a really wonderful article. Thanks for supplying this info.

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